Skip to comments.Coast Guard Ship's Cook Saves Drowning Girl
Posted on 11/14/2011 4:27:08 PM PST by hoagy62
ASTORIA, Ore. -- A Coast Guardsman was being honored as a hero Monday for his efforts in saving a woman from drowning in the Columbia River in September.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Leon Doniphan, a cook aboard Cutter Alert in Astoria, had just finished his shift on Sept. 10 and was heading on to the pier when he noticed some commotion on the river's edge.
It turned out, a young girl about 11- or 12-years-old, who had been swimming around the pilings under the dock, got caught in the river's current.
Moments later, it was apparent she was about to be carried under a 40-foot navigation buoy that had been retired and chained to the shore.
"The situation became grim quickly," witness Rod Hallock told the Coast Guard.
The girl managed to grab on to a small piece of metal on the buoy's edge but struggled to hold in against the churning water.
"She was yelling that she couldnt hold on, another witness, Lewis Nevel said.
The Coast Guard says Doniphan ran into the frigid waters and swam about 40 feet to reach the girl.
"The current was very strong and was trying to pull me under the buoy also," Doniphan said in a press release sent by the Coast Guard.
He managed to hoist the girl on to his shoulders and swim both of them just far enough away to not get trapped under the large buoy. But as they both began to be carried downriver by the current, Doniphan grabbed on to the chain that had tied the buoy to shore and pulled the two to shore.
(Excerpt) Read more at komonews.com ...
Petty Officer 2nd Class Leon Doniphan
a brave act!
God bless him!
Headwaters of the Columbia are some of the most treacherous in the world.
Hmmm...Swimming in the Columbia River in November?
The heroism of the cook is not negated by the foolishness of the swimmer.
I wondered about that too. What in the world is a girl doing swimming in the Columbia at this time of year?? It’s not real warm up here right now.
Still, the PO2 did the right thing.
Bravo Zulu Petty Officer Doniphan!!! Way to go.
Wow... That was my dock, too! Back in the 80’s... Alert was stationed up in Port Angeles, and Resolute was tied up there in Astoria. That dock is at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. The have the old lightship Columbia there, and the old CR bouy (pictured) is presumably the one they talk about in the story.
BTW— It’s an excellent Museum if you’re ever in the area. It’s quite worth the trip. Whatever active duty cutters are there in port are also open for tours on weekends.
No one brought that up or implied that, except you.
You bet. Swimming in the Columbia in November is suspect at best.
People swim in the river all the time... but not usually in that area right around the museum. I would guess there is more to the story that the reporter didn't catch or get into his story. Most likely she was carried downstream from somewhere else. However she got there, she's lucky to be alive.
If it weren't for people making poor decisions out on the water, the USCG would be out of a job. We're there to give people a mulligan when they screw up really bad. :-)
It happened early September. The Pacific NW had a LOUSY summer - it only got started getting nice the first week of September! (Lasted about 3 weeks too only)
It is going to be a LONG winter this year.
God bless the cook! (I think I saw that on an apron somewhere!)
And the article was published on Nov 14, 2011?
I don’t know - that’s pretty quick to be honored for his heroism. Wasn’t there some thread a few days ago where some WW I vet was just now getting his purple heart!?
Recheck the first sentence....September.
The story is posted about 40 days after the incident, and they don't know how old the victim is?
Maybe her birthday is Oct. 15th!?
Good on you Ramius. I grew up in Warrenton and you Coasties have saved more than one person I know closely. My old roomie was nearly killed in a commercial fishing accident and was picked up by a CG Base Astoria helicopter off his sinking shrimp boat.
My hat’s off to you guys.
The CRMM is awesome. Loved the video about the Columbia River bar pilots and the dangers they face - this is bravery that very few people know about. I would love to see Hollywood make a movie about them.
So what? It’s not an invalid point.
I read the article and it said September 10.....what did you you guys read?
I would imagine it is the Coast Guard Lifesaving Medal. Just a guess.
Great story. Fortunately, he’s a good-sized young man ... Anoreth was trained for rescue, but the 11-year-old girl probably weighed more!
Thanks... And that’s really on behalf of some my shipmates... I didn’t do anything special. That was a long time ago and a different lifetime. :-)
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
- Robert Heinlein.
If it weren’t for people making poor decisions out on the water, the USCG would be out of a job. We’re there to give people a mulligan when they screw up really bad. :-)
I have a shirt with “Support your local recovery diver,
boat drunk” on it
IT AIN’T JUST A MOTTO, IT’S A WAY OF LIFE.
Holy crap...you’re right! I JUST noticed the time of the incident.
However, the article was published TODAY. Don’t know the reason for the delay. Slow news day?
The article is about the fact that he was honored Monday, not the fact of the rescue. There was probably another article published in September about the actual rescue.
Try reading the thread before burping up comments.
This entire story reeks.
If you've got solid evidence to the contrary, you're welcome to post them. In fact, even encouraged to do so........Till then, keep your insults to yourself, you merely affirm what we're already thinking about you.
Keep reading........the article was about the awards ceremony which was on Monday and expounded by detailing the actions that warranted the award....which were back in September.
Lets look at the facts, based on this story posted here.
1. This story was either never reported about when it occurred, and or was published nearly 40 days after the incident.
2. This story is allegedly for an award ceremony but nothing, no story about the incident itself, which occurred nearly 40 days ago?
3. The story says the victim was a young girl, 11 or 12 years old, yet they don't even know the victims age after all this time?
4. The story doesn't even give the victims name. Absolutely no was given for the alleged victim. No name at all.
5. At one point, the story describes a woman as the victim, then another part of the story, it describes the victim as a girl.
There seems to be an inordinate amount of discrepancies or issues with this story.
BTW, who is, "We"? And if ya don't have the guts to speak up, and state what ya mean, ya ought to get off news/political forums on the Internet.
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