VIDEO: Ceremony at Vigor on Harbor Island honors two who saved a life

(WSB photos/video)

You’ve probably noticed that from the bridge – a white-wrapped structure, resembling a bird, rising from a drydock at Vigor Shipyard on Harbor Island. It’s the mast of the destroyer USS Sampson, which has been at Vigor for maintenance a few months and due to leave before Christmas. It factored into a ceremony we covered there this afternoon.

A Sampson crewmember, Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Besheer, and Vigor safety manager Billy Ray Brittain (above left) were honored by Washington State Ferries with the Life Ring Award for saving the life of WSF assistant engineer Dave Bennett (above right). He suffered a heart attack at the shipyard on November 13th while at Vigor to work on a ferry. They used CPR and an on-site automated external defibrillator to revive Bennett before medics arrived.

Bennett was there to say “thank you.” WSF chief of staff Elizabeth Kosa presented certificates and other appreciation:

Also there: City and county emergency specialists to urge that everyone learn CPR. You’re most likely to find yourself having to use it on a family member, pointed out SFD’s Capt. Peter Ubaldi.

Vigor CEO Frank Foti was there to voice pride and congratulations.

Also speaking was Laura Miccile of King County Emergency Medical Services, who said they’re glad a publicly accessible AED helped save a life – if you know of a public place that does NOT already have one, go here to find out how to change that. WSF says its Life Ring Award is usually only given to employees who save a life, but this is the second time this year that someone from outside the organization has received it – earlier this year, the award was presented to a U.S. Navy nurse who saved a passenger on the ferry Spokane.

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