Curtis Green of Coos Bay, Oregon is awarded the 2021 Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship for his heroic actions after the fishing vessel Darean Rose ran aground, rolled over, and began to sink, trapping the three crew in the wheelhouse.
Green was on the dock of his family’s marine supply business in Charlestown, Oregon, when he started watching yet another boat working to remove itself from an unmarked shoal. He pulled out his phone and began to video the scene for more evidence as to why a mark was needed for that shoal.
As the Darean Rose’s captain yawed the boat back and forth to free her from the mud, the starboard side fell off the shoal, the heavy load of crab pots shifted, and the pilothouse door was slammed shut, blocking the three crew inside the boat. Then the Darean Rose began to sink because of water rushing into the engine room.
From the dock, Curtis could see the water rushing in and panic in the eyes of the fishermen as they fought desperately to break out of the storm-proof pilothouse windows. Curtis instructed a dockhand to call 911, grabbed a hammer, and dove into the cold water to swim out and help. His hammer was of no use against the windows built to withstand the Pacific winter waves. The boat rolled some more, now trapping his foot, as water continued to rise in the wheelhouse and around him.
The moments passed by frantically. Curtis was able to grab a heavy piece of the down rigger, and with heaving, exhausting blows Curtis managed to crack the window. He seriously injured his hand, using his fist to enlarge the hole enough to reach in and pull the three fishermen out. The Coast Guard arrived minutes later, but would have been minutes too late had Curtis not performed this heroic act. The Coast Guard subsequently awarded him one of their highest civilian awards— the US Coast Guard Distinguished Public Service Medal.
Because of his bravery, his quick thinking, and his ability to successfully extract the crew of Darean Rose at the risk of his own life, Curtis Green is awarded the Cruising Club of America’s Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship.