A trimaran had capsized in rough and windy conditions in July of 2008 and two people climbed on top of the hull, but a third man was underneath.
Former Coast Guard Seaman Kristin Lunkley jumped in the frigid waters as the boat drifted toward jagged rocks. She managed to untangle the man from some rigging and pull him to safety.
"All I know was I was in there and said I need this, this and this. The people, the crew that was with me was amazing. They didn't ask questions, they were just like 'snapped into mode' and that is what the training is about really," said.
Lunkley is one of only 22 people to receive the award in the past 10 years. She had planned on becoming a journalist, but after this experience she is now pursuing a career in nursing.