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AFRAS Honors Member of C-PORT with Lifesaving Award


Man and Child Rescued From Waters During Storm

AFRAS (Association For Rescue At Sea) Honors Member of C-PORT with Lifesaving Award

C-PORT (Conference of Professional Operators for Response Towing) and AFRAS (Association For Rescue At Sea) celebrated and presented lifesaving awards to a number of marine assistance operators at the 25th Annual C-PORT Conference held on January 8–January 9, 2012 at Tampa, FL.  “We are thrilled that AFRAS attended our Gala and presented an award to one of our operators,” Tina Cardone, Executive Director stated.  “It was a great honor to have Captain Steve Sawyer, USCG (Ret), President of AFRAS (Association For Rescue At Sea), present this award.”  Cardone explained that AFRAS established a program, in cooperation with C-PORT, to annually recognize a deserving member of C-PORT that has shown exceptional skill and determination to save lives during a rescue incident in the maritime environment.  The Award is to be conferred on an individual or group of individuals who perform exceptional acts in attempting to save life in the maritime environment.  Instances where the rescuer places their own life at risk were given highest consideration. In addition to the AFRAS Award, Captain David McBride, Chief, USCG Office of Search and Rescue presented C-PORT Distinguished Service and C-PORT Meritorious Service Awards to a number of deserving individuals on behalf of C-PORT at the Awards Luncheon held earlier in the day.

Receiving the AFRAS Award was John Gridley of Sea Tow Clarks Hill Lake.  Honored along with Gridley was Jim Masiongale, the gentleman who assisted Gridley that day.  On the afternoon of July 4, 2011, while seeking safe harbor from an intense thunderstorm which produced winds in excess of 50 knots and a three to four foot choppy sea state, Captain Gridley responded to a distress call from a houseboat caught in the storm out on the lake.  Gridley was alerted that there were people in the water and in distress. Not concerned for their own safety, Gridley and Masiongale, immediately got underway in the howling wind and tough sea conditions to render assistance. Once on scene with the houseboat, Gridley learned that after a 12 year old boy (wearing a life jacket) was blown overboard by the wind, an adult male who is a firefighter jumped off the houseboat into the water without wearing a life jacket in an effort to save the boy, who subsequently was recovered in good health.  When Gridley quickly located the missing adult male, he was found unconscious and about to submerge below the surface of the water.  After pulling the man aboard his vessel, Gridley quickly headed back to the marina while Masiongale performed CPR.  The firefighter was delivered to the dock, where he was revived and transferred to awaiting Emergency Medical Services.  Gridley’s cool composure and speedy actions no doubt directly contributed to saving the life of a fellow boater. 

C-PORT congratulates John Gridley and Jim Masiongale for their efforts that day,” stated Chris Shaffner, C-PORT Chairman.  “It’s great to have one of our members recognized with such a prestigious award.  Assisting boaters is what we do.”

C-PORT was founded in 1986 to act as a liaison between the marine assistance industry and public agencies and organizations involved with boating safety, marine assistance, marine salvage and other marine-related operations.  Our members are dedicated to providing prompt, professional and timely assistance to all boaters and to actively partner and cooperate with local law enforcement and U.S. Coast Guard. They are professionals, dedicated to the growth and development of their respective businesses and committed to furthering the advancement of our waterways and the boating community.  For more information, contact C-PORT at (954) 261-2012 or visit


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