March 17, 2003

USCG Boater Of The Year Jimmin Chang

The California Department of Boating and Waterways named Jimmin Chang, of Sunnyvale, as the recipient of the 2002 Distinguished Public Service Award. Boating and Waterways Acting Deputy Director Carl Moore presented the award at a ceremony held on March 15, at the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary's District 11 Conference in Modesto.

"Mr. Chang's professionalism and dedication are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard and the Auxiliary," said Mr. Moore.

Mr. Chang, 41, received the award for his work with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, exemplified by his invaluable assistance during a medical emergency at sea in 1998. The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a call for assistance from a Chinese freighter. A Chinese-speaking crew member had been seriously injured in a fall, and emergency medical personnel could not communicate with him. Within minutes of receiving the call asking for his help, Mr. Chang was airborne in a rescue helicopter en route to the freighter of the California coast. He was hoisted below onto the deck of the freighter, where he provided a crucial communications link between the injured man and his rescuers.

Mr. Chang, an electrical engineer, joined the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1995, and since then has qualified as an Instructor, a Vessel Examiner, both a Crew Member and a Coxswain in Operations, and a Marine Dealer Visitor.

The Distinguished Public Service Award was formerly known as the Boater Of The Year Award, which was established in 1980, to recognize the efforts of volunteer organizations whose members teach and promote boating safety education.