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American Boat & Yacht Council Foundation Honors Capt. Mike Stewart Of TowBoatUS North Miami, FL For Heroic Action
Awarded Bunzl Boating Safety Award
Captain Mike Stewart, owner and operator of the on-the-water towing company TowBoatUS North Miami, FL, was honored by the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Foundation with a Bunzl Boating Safety Award at the organization’s annual meeting held today in conjunction with the Miami International Boat Show. The award is presented in recognition of singular acts of great personal sacrifice or heroism in the saving of life or vessel at sea, or for extraordinary contributions to recreational boating safety.
Captain Stewart’s quick action in responding to a VHF radio distress call last summer saved the Captain of another on-the-water towing company, Sea Tow, who had sustained a grave injury when a cleat separated from the disabled boat he was towing and struck him in the head. The injury resulted in extensive bleeding, shock, and caused the man to act in a violent and erratic manner.
Upon arrival to the scene, Capt. Stewart found a Bay Harbor Islands, FL, police officer aboard the injured Captain’s towing vessel and a PWC tied alongside whose operator refused to render aid, leaving the police officer alone to render assistance and provide emergency transport.
Showing a total disregard for his own safety and personal health, Capt. Stewart immediately jumped into the injured Captain’s boat and single-handedly subdued the injured Captain, applied pressure to the wound and assisted the officer with transport. According to authorities, without Capt. Stewart’s actions, medical treatment would have been delayed and the outcome may not have been as positive.
A second Bunzl Award was given to Joe Morris, a Maryland teen who saved the life of a fellow sailor who was struck in the head by the boom and knocked unconscious into the water during a regatta in New Jersey.
Skip Burdon, ABYC president and ABYC Foundation secretary said, “Both Captain Stewart and Joe Morris sacrificed their own personal safety to come to the aid of fellow human beings in danger on the water. They both deserve a much credit for their life-saving actions.