Coast Guard Honored for Ocean Rescue of Montauk Lobsterman

For their impossible rescue of a lobsterman who fell off a fishing boat miles off shore on July 24, members of Coast Guard Station Montauk were presented with the guard’s Meritorious Team Commendation on Friday.

Capt. Edward J. Cubanski, the commander of Sector Long Island Sound, made the presentation Friday at Montauk Fire Department and the lobsterman, John Aldridge, was on hand as well.

Coast Guard Capt. Edward J. Cubanski presents crew members of Station Montauk with the Meritorious Team Commendation.

Coast Guard Capt. Edward J. Cubanski presents crew members of Station Montauk with the Meritorious Team Commendation.
Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Ali Flockerzi

Aldridge was at sea for more than 12 hours before the rescue, surviving by using his boots as floatation devices and swimming from buoy to buoy.

“It is important that we recognize the numerous people involved in making this a successful rescue mission,” Cubanski said. “We owe thanks to the community members and port partners for their contributions in finding and bringing John home safely.”

The search area was larger than 1,100 square miles. Coast Guard assets and local fishing boats headed out to sweep the area looking for Aldridge.

John Aldridge stands with members of the Coast Guard and good Samaritans who were awarded Friday evening.

John Aldridge stands with members of the Coast Guard and good Samaritans who were awarded Friday evening at the Montauk Fire Department.
Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Ali Flockerzi

“The devotion to duty and the outstanding performance demonstrated by Station Montauk are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard,” Cubanski said.

Aldridge and Coast Guard members were interviewed by Weather Channel Films for an episode of Alive about Aldridge’s ordeal.

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