Robin N.. Feske

Robin N. Feske, Aviation Survival Technician First Class, United States Coast Guard, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement on 11 September 1998 while serving as rescue swimmer aboard Coast Guard helicopter 6523 engaged in the perilous night rescue of three survivors from the F/V HIGH LINER. After the treacherous transit through the effects of tropical storm Frances, the crew located the fishing vessel foundering and in danger of sinking in the 45 knot winds and 20-foot seas. The vessel’s fouled deck made a direct hoist impossible, and the pilot directed the vessel’s crew to abandon ship into a life raft. A swimmer deployment was required because an unassisted survivor hoist was determined to be too risky, Petty Officer Feske initially deployed to the water attached to the hoist cable, however, he was severely pounded by the waves and tossed violently in and out of the swells. Unable to see, control himself, or make any progress towards the life rail, Petty Officer Feske was forced to request an emergency pickup. After returning to the safety of the aircraft, Petty Officer Feske informed the crew that the only way to save the HIGH LINER crew was to deploy free of the hoist hook. Petty Officer Feske was keenly aware that due to the severe storm there were no other Coast Guard vessels or helicopters available to rescue him should the 6523 be forced to depart without him. Based on his proven performance, confidence and courage, the crew agreed it was the only option. Petty Officer Feske was lowered into the dark, turbulent seas, and swam clear of the hoist cable. Working furiously to keep himself oriented, he systematically removed the first man from the life raft, fighting his way through the heavy seas to the rescue basket and placing him inside to be hoisted to safety. Unfazed by seawater ingestion, the loss of protective equipment tom away by the seas and battling exhaustion, Petty Officer FESKE successfully placed all three men, and himself safely aboard the 6523. Petty Officer Feske demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue. His courage, judgment, and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard. Robin N. Feske is a member of the Distinguish Flying Cross Society. Robin N. Feske, Aviation Survival Technician First Class, United States Coast Guard, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement on 11 September 1998 while serving as rescue swimmer aboard Coast Guard helicopter 6523 engaged in the perilous night rescue of three survivors from the F/V HIGH LINER. After the treacherous transit through the effects of tropical storm Frances, the crew located the fishing vessel foundering and in danger of sinking in the 45 knot winds and 20-foot seas. The vessel’s fouled deck made a direct hoist impossible, and the pilot directed the vessel’s crew to abandon ship into a life raft. A swimmer deployment was required because an unassisted survivor hoist was determined to be too risky, Petty Officer Feske initially deployed to the water attached to the hoist cable, however, he was severely pounded by the waves and tossed violently in and out of the swells. Unable to see, control himself, or make any progress towards the life rail, Petty Officer Feske was forced to request an emergency pickup. After returning to the safety of the aircraft, Petty Officer Feske informed the crew that the only way to save the HIGH LINER crew was to deploy free of the hoist hook. Petty Officer Feske was keenly aware that due to the severe storm there were no other Coast Guard vessels or helicopters available to rescue him should the 6523 be forced to depart without him. Based on his proven performance, confidence and courage, the crew agreed it was the only option. Petty Officer Feske was lowered into the dark, turbulent seas, and swam clear of the hoist cable. Working furiously to keep himself oriented, he systematically removed the first man from the life raft, fighting his way through the heavy seas to the rescue basket and placing him inside to be hoisted to safety. Unfazed by seawater ingestion, the loss of protective equipment tom away by the seas and battling exhaustion, Petty Officer FESKE successfully placed all three men, and himself safely aboard the 6523. Petty Officer Feske demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue. His courage, judgment, and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard. Robin N. Feske is a member of the Distinguish Flying Cross Society. Robin N. Feske, Aviation Survival Technician First Class, United States Coast Guard, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement on 11 September 1998 while serving as rescue swimmer aboard Coast Guard helicopter 6523 engaged in the perilous night rescue of three survivors from the F/V HIGH LINER. After the treacherous transit through the effects of tropical storm Frances, the crew located the fishing vessel foundering and in danger of sinking in the 45 knot winds and 20-foot seas. The vessel’s fouled deck made a direct hoist impossible, and the pilot directed the vessel’s crew to abandon ship into a life raft. A swimmer deployment was required because an unassisted survivor hoist was determined to be too risky, Petty Officer Feske initially deployed to the water attached to the hoist cable, however, he was severely pounded by the waves and tossed violently in and out of the swells. Unable to see, control himself, or make any progress towards the life rail, Petty Officer Feske was forced to request an emergency pickup. After returning to the safety of the aircraft, Petty Officer Feske informed the crew that the only way to save the HIGH LINER crew was to deploy free of the hoist hook. Petty Officer Feske was keenly aware that due to the severe storm there were no other Coast Guard vessels or helicopters available to rescue him should the 6523 be forced to depart without him. Based on his proven performance, confidence and courage, the crew agreed it was the only option. Petty Officer Feske was lowered into the dark, turbulent seas, and swam clear of the hoist cable. Working furiously to keep himself oriented, he systematically removed the first man from the life raft, fighting his way through the heavy seas to the rescue basket and placing him inside to be hoisted to safety. Unfazed by seawater ingestion, the loss of protective equipment tom away by the seas and battling exhaustion, Petty Officer FESKE successfully placed all three men, and himself safely aboard the 6523. Petty Officer Feske demonstrated remarkable initiative, exceptional fortitude and daring in spite of imminent personal danger in this rescue. His courage, judgment, and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard. Robin N. Feske is a member of the Distinguish Flying Cross Society.