By Lou Marzeles

Marvel gets Red Cross award for heroism


March 27, 2019

Lou Marzeles

LIFE SAVER: Goldendale's Ken Marvel holds his award from the American Red Cross for his actions as part of the tugboat crew that rescued two people from the Columbia River last year.

On a September evening last year, two people clung to the side of their overturned boat on the Columbia River. Without life vests, they were almost certainly destined to perish the longer they remained in the water, surrounded as they were with three-foot swells and 30 mile-per-hour winds and with sunset approaching.

Then along came the tugboat Tidewater Ryan Point. Its captain and crew spotted the couple in the water; the man overboard alarm sounded. Within minutes the crew maneuvered the boat close to the pair and threw life rings toward them.

Goldendale's Ken Marvel, a deck mechanic on the boat, remembered the scene vividly. As he told the American Red Cross later, "When I looked in her eyes, she was in full panic. I don't think she would have lasted another hour."

The crew got the couple warm and to safety, and their heroic and timely rescue was deeply appreciated by the pair who went on to write a heartfelt letter of thanks. The appreciation felt by the American Red Cross was expressed in a ceremony honoring the crew of the Tidewater.

Marvel says he feels grateful to have been a part of the rescue. "It's a heartwarming story," he states. "I don't think they would have survived, and I'm just glad we were there."



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