The Officers, Directors and Members of US SAILING are pleased to present the ARTHUR B. HANSON RESCUE MEDAL to the crew of APRÈS SKI for the rescue as follows:
On September 17, 2003 at the "Wet Wednesday" race at the Tahoe Windjammers Yacht Club on Lake Tahoe, the 65-degree air was blowing 25 knots, with three to four foot seas. Free Flight, a Moore 24 took a spinnaker knock down broach to weather, when skipper Pat Mitchell fell overboard into the 60-degree water without a PFD. Free Flight’s crew hailed, "Man overboard," and threw a life jacket towards the victim.
Skipper Lynn Wright, Mike Robinson, and Michelle Langlois on board another Moore 24, Après Ski, heard the hail and started beating upwind. Langlois continuously pointed at the victim, while Robinson dropped the jib for better control in the conditions. As they approached they heard the victim say, "Better hurry" as the effects of hypothermia were beginning. Après Ski sailed into a position to weather of the victim and deployed a Lifesling which the victim pulled over his head, under his arms and secured. The crew of Après Ski pulled the victim to the transom of their boat when the victim placed his foot in the boat drain for support and the crew pulled him aboard after the victim had been in the water for nearly 20 minutes. Next they took the victim below and covered him with a sail for warmth and took him to shore. The crew of Free Flight were able to return safely to shore to meet up with their skipper.