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Coast Guard Foundation hosts 2018 awards ceremony this week

The Coast Guard made numerous rescues during Hurricane Harvey. Photo by Petty Officer Third Class Johanna Strickland

The Coast Guard made numerous rescues during Hurricane Harvey. Photo by Petty Officer Third Class Johanna Strickland

The non-profit Coast Guard Foundation will hold its annual Salute to the United States Coast Guard at the Marriott Marquis in New York City on Thursday.

The foundation, which supports Coast Guard members and their families, will honor Petty Officer Samuel Knoeppel for his heroism following Hurricane Harvey in 2017. International Matex Tank Terminals — a company that has long supported the foundation’s scholarship program, Disaster Relief Fund, special projects at bases and the sailing program at the Coast Guard Academy — also will be honored.

Adm. Karl Schultz, Coast Guard commandant, and Adm. Charles Ray, vice-commandant, will attend, and Schultz will deliver keynote remarks. Co-chairs for the dinner are Brendan J. Bouchard of Bouchard Transportation and Brian Buckley McAllister of McAllister Towing.

Knoeppel served as a rescue swimmer with Coast Guard Air Station Miami. When he saw the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, he volunteered to reposition to the city to assist with search-and-rescue efforts. On Aug. 28, Knoeppel deployed from a helicopter in a 150-foot hover to rescue 27 people from floodwaters. The following day he coordinated two hospital-to-hospital transfers of patients in need of critical care.

“The brave men and women of the Coast Guard, exemplified by Petty Officer Knoeppel, are the very definition of selflessness,” said Susan Ludwig, president of the Coast Guard Foundation, in a statement. “We are continually humbled by the sacrifices made by them on a daily basis. We hope that our recognition of several of the brave Coast Guard members each year shows our gratitude for the entire community.”

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