Marlin A. Coats, 29, a store manager from San Leandro, Calif., received a Carnegie Hero Award on July 6, 2007, for helping to save two boys, ages 11 and 14, from drowning when they were caught in a riptide off Ocean Beach in San Francisco on May 14, 2006. According to the press release, "He swam out to the older boy and helped him toward shore, and that boy left the water. Coats turned back for the other boy, who was farther out. Others entered the water, including two lifeguards who had been alerted. Finding that Coats had submerged, the lifeguards pulled him to the surface of the water and placed him on a rescue board. They returned him and the other boy to shore. Coats and both boys were taken to the hospital for treatment, but Coats could not be revived, as he had died of drowning."
The mission of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1904, is "To recognize persons who perform acts of heroism in civilian life in the United States and Canada, and to provide financial assistance for those disabled and the dependants of those killed helping others." Winners of the award are announced five times a year.
According to this San Francisco Chronicle article, Coats' widow is facing deportation to Kenya because her husband died before immigration paperwork needed for her to remain in the country was completed. In response to this, Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced S. 420 on January 29, 2007, a bill that would grant permanent residency to Jacqueline Coats.
Each of the honorees or the next of kin receives $5,000 and becomes eligible for one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance.Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at July 6, 2007 6:41 AM | TrackBack