Coastie becomes second woman to ever receive Silver Lifesaving medal

Victoria Vanderharden
Photo credit Photo by Chief Petty Officer Crystalynn Kneen
By Connecting Vets

Two summers ago, Petty Officer 2nd Class Victoria Vanderhaden spotted two men being pulled out to sea in a riptide at Fire Island, NY. She immediately jumped into the water to rescue them.

Relying on her Coast Guard training, she was able to save both men. She was stationed at Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck.

This week, Vanderhaden was presented with the Coast Guard Lifesaving medal in Mobile, Alabama. She is only the second woman in history to receive the medal.

Her father was in attendance at the ceremony, Master Chief Petty Officer Jason M. Vanderhaden, who is the Coast Guard's most senior enlisted member of the entire branch of service.

"Today I had the honor to witness my daughter, BM2 Victoria Vanderhaden receive the #CoastGuard Silver Lifesaving Medal for rescuing two men off the beach of Fire Island in the summer of 2018. I couldn’t be more proud to see Rear. Admiral Nadeau, from Coast Guard District 8, pin the medal on her today in front of her mother and I, and a small group of her shipmates," the elder Vanderhaden wrote on his official facebook page.

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Reach Jack Murphy: jack@connectingvets.com or @JackMurphyRGR.