The Perfect Storm

October 28th 1991, the crew of the schooner Anne Kristina were rescued by Lieutenant Paul Lange and his crew in a USCG HH-60 Jayhawk during what came to be more famously known as the "Perfect Storm"

Lieutenant Paul Lange was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions.

DFC Citation:

"The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Paul D. Lange, United States Coast Guard, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on the night of 28 October 1991 while serving as aircraft commander of Coast Guard HH-60J CGNR 6008 engaged in the rescue of nine crew members from the sailing vessel ANNE KRISTINA during the height of Hurricane GRACE. The 96-foot wooden schooner was sinking in 40-foot seas 300 nautical miles off Cape Henry, Virginia. With crosswinds in excess of 60 knots, the distance to the scene was beyond the capability of the helicopter, so the air crew flew to the aircraft carrier USS AMERICA which served as a refueling platform 250 miles from the scene. Overcoming turbulence and reduced visibility in rain, the crew located the ANNE KRISTINA using night vision goggles. As each crewmember of the ANNE KRISTINA abandoned ship they were pulled from the turbulent waters using the rescue basket. Lieutenant Lange hovered the helicopter over the vessel in 60-knot winds and driving rain at a low altitude to complete 11 hoists in 45 minutes. Undaunted by equipment failures, high seas, hurricane force winds, and rain Lieutenant Lange's actions, aeronautical skill, and valor were instrumental in the rescue of seven men and two women. His courage, judgment and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard."

 


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