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Ford Plantation worker recognized by Coast Guard for heroic rescue
Capt. Danny Sharpe was awarded a certificate of appreciation by the U.S. Coast Guard for his part in rescuing three fisherman from a capsized boat October 18. Photo by Steve Scholar.

Some people call October 30 Devil's Night while others might call it a Life Saving Day. For Capt. Danny Sharpe it was just a normal day. 

The sun was bright, the temperatures brisk, the winds breezy and he was looking forward to a fishing trip with clients from the Ford Plantation.

Sharpe, a Ford Plantation fishing excursion guide for the past 16 years, was on his way out when the first distress call came in: a boat was in trouble in chilly waters off Wassaw Sound.

"We were getting to leave the marina here at the Ford Plantation and I actually heard a distress call on the radio. I answered the call and I didn't get a reply back. I started calling local marinas, but they didn't hear the distress call. So I was on alert as we headed out. I anchored our boat and we started fishing and within 30 minutes I got another call stating the worst had happened and the boat capsized.

 "I was only 10 minutes away so we pulled anchor and luckily we went straight to them. We got there and made sure everyone was okay. They were hanging onto the boat. We slowly retrieved them and got them into the boat one at a time.

 "The family that was with me did a great job. We got jackets and blankets and just kind of wrapped and bundled everyone up. We wanted to get them warm before we got to the marina," the captain said.

 According to Sharpe, the water temperatures that day were in the 60s and they had been in the water 60 to 90 minutes.

 "They did a good job by staying with the boat and having their life jackets on. They had gotten out of the water the best they could," Sharpe said.

In the end, three people from that boat were rescued that day, and on March 29, during a ceremony at the Ford Plantation, Sharpe's heroic actions were recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard who presented him with a Certificate of Appreciation.

    Sharpe said he doesn't consider himself a hero but it was a great feeling and he'd do it again anytime. 

    "I was just glad to get to them and find them safe. Hopefully, I'll never have to do that again...thanks to the family that was on the boat with me helping to get them out of the water, into the boat and keeping them warm. 

    "I'm glad everyone was safe and got home to see their families that day," Sharpe said.

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