Life­savers rec­og­nized

Cupids men who res­cued six at sea amonng those hon­oured


Af­ter Carl But­ler and his fa­ther Ira But­ler res­cued six peo­ple at sea on June 18, 2008, they were re­luc­tant to talk much about what hap­pened.

“We just per­formed the res­cue and went about our daily lives,” said Carl But­ler, stand­ing in­side Govern­ment House in St. John’s three years later. “I’d like to think any­one would do it.”

But both men from Cupids re­ceived some well de­served praise on Nov. 29 when the Lifesaving So­ci­ety’s New­found­land and Labrador branch hon­oured them each with a Res­cue Com­men­da­tion Cer­tifi­cate.

The pre­sen­ta­tions were made by Lt.-gov. John Cros­bie, the of­fi­cial pa­tron of the Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety in New­found­land and Labrador. Ira But­ler’s son Scott But­ler ac­cepted a cer­tifi­cate on his be­half.

The boat Joyce’s Dream had left the har­bour in Port de Grave at ap­prox­i­mately 2 p.m. that day in 2008. The weather was re­port­edly calm, but a few hours later the boat made an un­ex­pected roll ap­prox­i­mately five kilo­me­tres from Bri­gus.

A pair of may­day calls were made, and even- tu­ally all six oc­cu­pants of the boat were in the water. They even­tu­ally man­aged to board a dinghy, though it was over­loaded and par­tially sub­merged in water. Two men later left the dinghy and climbed on top of the over­turned boat.

Carl But­ler and Ira But­ler were both friends of the boat’s cap­tain, Don Mor­gan. Once they re­ceived word of what had hap­pened, the two men sprang to ac­tion, board­ing their plea­sure craft to join the search ef­fort.

With help from peo­ple along the shore­line, the But­lers even­tu­ally found the stranded pas­sen­gers.

“It was al­most get­ting too quiet,” Carl But­ler said, not­ing one of the women ap­peared to be deal­ing with a se­vere case of hy­pother­mia.

They man­aged to get ev­ery­one aboard the plea­sure craft and later picked up two search and res­cue tech­ni­cians to look af­ter those who had been res­cued be­fore reach­ing the shore. All six of the res­cued pas­sen­gers were trans­ported to hos­pi­tal and later re­leased in good health.

The Res­cue Com­men­da­tion Cer­tifi­cate is awarded to those who per­form an out­stand­ing res­cue with­out hav­ing at­tained a pro­fi­ciency award such as Bronze Medal­lion or Bronze Cross.

Carl But­ler and his fa­ther are both ex­pe­ri­enced fish­er­men, and Carl said they were ready to do what had to be done.

“You don’t think about any­thing. You just go, do it, think about it af­ter.”

The event also rec­og­nized sev­eral so­ci­ety vol­un­teers. The Cer­tifi­cate of Thanks was awarded to Ni­cole Comer­ford, Michael Cur­ran, Barry Ford­ham, Ge­orge Furey, Amanda Han­dri­gan, Gwen His­cock, Robert Lemes­surier, Jonathan Mayo, Giselle Pike, Lau­rie Pittman and Les­lie White.

El­iz­a­beth Evely, Len Leriche, and Sheilagh Mur­phy each re­ceived a Ser­vice Medal, and Bryan Har­ris was awarded the Bar to Ser­vice Cross.

Prior to mak­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion to the honourees, Cros­bie praised them for the valu­able work they have done to aid the cause of sav­ing lives.

“You’re pulling your weight as good cit­i­zens, and we need not rec­og­nize only you but many more peo­ple to have the same at­ti­tudes as you all do.”

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