Reservists earn medals for rescue

The Naval Reserve members who rescued passengers from the harbor water shuttle that capsized near Fort McHenry two weeks ago will be awarded medals for their quick-thinking heroics.

The commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Center in Baltimore said an official ceremony has not been arranged but that he expects a medal service to be held next month when reservists are drilling at the center, which is near Fort McHenry.

"Right now we're looking at some time in April," Cmdr. Jim McGovern said.

On March 6, the Seaport Taxi Lady D capsized in gale-force winds, plunging 23 passengers and two crew members into the Patapsco River's frigid waters.

More than 20 reservists scrambled aboard the center's 72-foot-long naval troop deployment vessel, which includes a ramp at the rear for easy movement into and out of the water.

Their rescue efforts were assisted by Baltimore firefighters stationed at a fireboat house next to the Naval Reserve Center.

Medals that could be awarded to the reservists include: the Navy Achievement Medal ("For junior officers and enlisted personnel whose professional and leadership achievements are clearly of a superlative nature"), the Navy Commendation Medal ("For heroic or meritorious achievement or service;" it can include a Bronze "V" to denote valor) and the Navy and Marine Corps Medal ("For acts of heroism not involving actual conflict with an opposing armed force").