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U.S. Coast Guard Awards

Ingar Olsen

Awarded 24 May 1893

During night of 19 April 1893, the house on the crib of a new city waterworks tunnel washed away during a prevailing gale.  The 15 workmen took refuge in the air lock and on morning of the 20th, all but one had drowned.  The lifesaving crew of the Milwaukee (WI) Life-Saving Station were towed to the crib by the tug Welcome and rescued the survivor from the crib.  The superior intelligence, remarkable strength, and courageous daring of Surfman Ingar Olsen resulted in the rescue of the lone survivor.  On the following day the crew helped recover the bodies of ten of those drowned in this disaster.

Official letter from the Secretary of the Treasury accompanying Olsen's gold medal in which the Secretary recounts Olsen's heroic actions that led to the award. [pdf]

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Last Modified 1/12/2016