U.S. Coast Guard Awards
Awarded 15 May 1997
For extreme and heroic daring on the afternoon of 6 April 1997 during the rescue of nine victims who were forced into the water as a 3- to 4-knot current crushed their boat and drove it under the forward rake of a moored barge. Mr. Mauro, serving as an Auxiliary crewmember aboard Coast Guard Utility Boat 41351, rapidly assessed the situation and, focusing on a struggling young girl about to be forced under the bow of the barge, selflessly dove into the turbulent water to rescue her. Defying the deadly current, Mr. Mauro grasped the young victim and was in the process of taking her to safety, when three panicking adult victims grabbed him to avoid being sucked under the barge themselves. Demonstrating extraordinary strength, Mr. Mauro heroically pulled all four victims from the powerful current forward of the barge. Despite the difficulty of moving with four terrified victims clinging to him, Mr. Mauro lodged himself between the side of the barge and a wooden piling. He then attempted to rescue a fifth victim, but was hindered by the four already holding tightly to him. As Mr. Mauro safely assisted the four victims into a Coast Guard rigid hull inflatable boat, he narrowly avoided being crushed by the shifting barge. Mr. Mauro's determined efforts, outstanding initiative, and fortitude during this rescue resulted in the saving of four lives. His unselfish actions and valiant service, despite imminent personal danger, reflect the highest credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of humanitarian service.