The Coast Guard presented the Gold Lifesaving Medal in Atlantic City on Friday to a man who rescued two children from drowning July 4, 2011. Lou Rosso, from Egg Harbor Township, N.J., was presented the medal for his actions while at Atlantic City beach with his family last summer.
Rosso witnessed two children screaming and waving approximately 100 yards from the beach. Rosso ran to the water and swam out to assist the children. Unable to pull them to shore due to fatigue, he concentrated on preventing them from drowning until emergency responders could arrive. After 10 minutes in the water, struggling to stay afloat with both children, emergency responders arrived and transported all three people to a nearby hospital.
Despite being 70 years old and having no formal rescue swimming training, Rosso swiftly took action when no one else dared. His determined effort, outstanding initiative and fortitude during this rescue resulted in the saving of two children’s lives, the medal citation stated.
The Gold Lifesaving Medal was established by Congress in 1874 and is one of the oldest military medals. It is awarded by the commandant of the Coast Guard to any person who rescues, or endeavors to rescue, any other person from drowning, shipwreck or other peril of the water.