Oswego (WSYR-TV) -- Two Oswego public servants are being honored by the U.S. Coast Guard for their quick thinking and heroic actions. Two years ago, Fire Chief Jeffrey McCrobie and Police Sergeant Damion Waters jumped into the Oswego River to pull out two fishermen.
The men were honored Wednesday with the rare and highly respected Silver Lifesaving Medal.
“There are 65 people in the Oswego Fire Department and many more in the police department that would do the same thing, you see it and you react, you don't think about it,” Chief McCrobie said.
Despite the rescue effort, two of the four fishermen -- 45-year-old Leanord Nichols and 52-year-old Clifford Luther -- did not survive. But for their selfless actions, Chief McCrobie and Sergeant Waters were honored as heroes.
“These gentlemen went above and beyond the call-of-duty and did something we all hope somebody would do for us if we were in that situation,” said Rear Admiral Michael Parks with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Reserved for those who risk their lives trying to save another, it’s one of the oldest medals in the U.S. Only about 1,900 of them have been awarded in the last 130 years.
New safety measures have gone into place since the incident, including rules on life jackets. It’s now mandatory to wear one, near the Varick Dam, which is a popular place to fish on Oswego River.