Niagara search and rescue group receives award for 2022 Lake Ontario rescue

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A search and rescue organization that patrols Lake Ontario in Niagara has won a prestigious award.

Five volunteers with South Shore Search And Rescue have been awarded the Operational Merit Medal from the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary for a rescue that took place in the summer of 2022.

Officials say the team plucked four adults and four children from a frothy Lake Ontario during high winds.

Four children and three adults were found clinging to three paddleboards, while a young man was spotted by the Captain floating alone after falling off his personal watercraft and was knocked unconscious.

He was also saved from the water.

Officials say the 106 minute rescue saved eight lives.

“The Medal of Operational Merit is awarded to Auxiliarists in recognition of superior skill in performing an assist, or rescue, or other meritorious operational service,” according to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The award was one of two Operational Merit Awards presented at the recent Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary/Central & Arctic annual general meeting.

The crew are Owen Evans (coxswain) and Ben Cosman, both of Grimsby, Brent Dawson of St. Catharines, Sandy Osborne of Beamsville and Jeffrey Stamper of Hamilton.

The organization is looking for new volunteers with three information nights scheduled for next month in the Stoney Creek area.