Kenai Firefighters Honored for Bravery

The U.S. Coast Guard last night honored Kenai Firefighters for their actions during the sinking of the commercial fishing vessel, the “Six.”



Lt. Matthew Mitchell presented the men with a Coast Guard coin for heroism to Captain John Harris, Engineer John Wichman, and Firefighter Zach Pettit…




Lt. Mitchell: “And it was for exceptional bravery when they responded to the capsizing of the commercial fishing vessel the Six, just off the mouth of the Kenai River on the 22nd of August. Incredibly poor conditions. The vessel had capsized due to sea state and these guys didn’t  hesitate  They jumped in a vessel that was even smaller than the vessel that the seas had already taken, put their lives at risk, and ultimately ended up saving lives.”


Two men were rescued from the mouth of the river that night, while Lt. Mitchell said Coast Guard responders were still en route. He said the Firefighters were crucial in the safe and timely rescue of the men, but Firefighter Pettit said it was all in a day’s work…


Pettit: “You know, any time you get recognized for doing your job, it’s great, but circumstances were, I think Engineer Wickman will agree, we just happened to be the guys that were on the boat. Every guy in the fire department, even any guy on the police officer’s side, they’ve gone out with dip netters. I think anybody would have got it, we just happened to be the two that were on duty that day, that were in the boat, so it is a great honor and it’s something to be proud of, but it’s not like we did anything that any other person wouldn’t have done.”


The Kenai City Council members also added their appreciation at last night’s meeting.

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