New Hamphsire Heros

 

Award Recipients

Congressman Frank Guinta, of New Hampshire's 1st Congressional District, Michael Garrity, Lindsey Holliday, Adam Sexton and Rear Adm. Daniel Neptun, 1st Coast Guard District Commander, attend a ceremony presenting Garrity the Coast Guard Certificate of Valor and Sexton the Coast Guard Public Service Commendation award at Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor in New Castle, N.H. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. Garrity and Sexton received their awards for their rescue of Holliday during a vacation March 2005 in Mexico.

Written by Petty Officer Ayla Kelley

Nearly seven years ago two young reporters were vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. While enjoying a day on the beach and admiring massive waves Michael Garrity and Adam Sexton saw two young women being knocked down and swept out to sea. Without knowing who the two people in trouble were, both men sprang into action to help those in danger.

At Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor in New Castle, N.H., Feb. 21, both Garrity and Sexton were re-united with Holliday for a ceremony honoring their courage and un-selfishness on that fateful day in March 2005. Rear Admiral Daniel Neptun, of Coast Guard 1st District and Congressman Frank Guinta, of New Hampshire’s 1st District, presented Sexton with the Coast Guard Public Service Commendation award and Garrity with the Coast Guard Certificate of Valor for their valiant efforts to help complete strangers in a foreign country.

During the rescue, Sexton was able to assist one young woman back to shore while Garrity swam out into deeper water to help the other young woman, Lindsey Holliday. Holliday was from Montana and did not have experience swimming in the ocean surf whereas Garrity, the son of a Coast Guard officer, and had grown up near the ocean. When Garrity reached Holliday she was exhausted and frightened. He got her onto his back and encouraged her to “keep kicking.” As Garrity and Holliday tried to catch waves to carry them back to shore, Sexton kept an eye on them and directed them where to go and warned when large waves where coming in. When Garrity and Holliday finally reached shallow waters Sexton was there to help them safely reach the beach.

“I had no idea Lindsey was here… it’s so awesome she took the time to be here,” said Sexton shortly after the presentation.

The ceremony was attended by close family and friends of Garrity and Sexton and local Coast Guard members. Admiral Neptun read a passage from a thank you letter written by Holliday’s mother to Garrity which stated, “the gift you have given us is something we can never repay, and I know that without you, Lindsey would not be with us today.”

 

Award Recipients

Lindsey Holliday (center) stands with Michael Garrity (left) and Adam Sexton (right), after they received awards during a ceremony at Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor in New Castle, N.H. Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. Garrity received the Coast Guard Certificate of Valor and Sexton the Coast Guard Public Service Commendation for their rescue of Holliday from drowning while on vacation March 2005 in Mexico.