Coast Guard Formally Recognizes Rescuers


NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – The Coast Guard formally recognized New Smyrna Beach Mayor Adam Barringer and three other men Tuesday for saving the life of a woman whose vehicle crashed into the Indian River in New Smyrna Beach Jan. 6, 2010.

During a ceremony at New Smyrna Beach City Hall, Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, Fla., Commander Capt. Tom Allan presented a Silver Lifesaving Medal to Barringer and Certificates of Valor to Christopher Kirk of the New Smyrna Beach police department, Victor Guzman and Wayne Mechtel.

Robert Randall was awarded a Certificate of Valor as well but could not attend the ceremony.

The men leapt into action after witnessing Suzanne Grims’ car break through a barrier, enter the Indian River and begin to sink with her in it. They jumped into the river and worked together to free her from the sinking vehicle.

Grims, who was a New Smyrna Beach resident when the accident occurred, traveled from her current home in Rochester, N.Y., to attend the ceremony.

“I would not have been here today if it weren’t for them,” she said. “I’m not a great swimmer, and it was very, very cold so I thank all of them.”

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