Trooper II. Russ Ryan
Trooper II. Russ Ryan #7065 should be commended for his swift response on Tuesday August 9, 2016. Trooper Ryan was on single vessel patrol in the Absecon Inlet, Atlantic City operating a 23’ twin outboard V-Ram Rigid Inflatable vessel. While monitoring VHF Marine channel 16 Trooper Ryan heard a calling of “Mayday, Mayday”. The vessel operator advised they were in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 100 yards off of the beach of Atlantic City in front of the Taj Mahal, taking on water and sinking quickly. Trooper Ryan quickly responded and located the vessel approximately 100 yards from the bathing beach, listing hard to starboard (right) and about to capsize. Trooper Ryan pulled alongside the vessel and was able to immediately retrieve one juvenile (male) from the sinking vessel. Trooper Ryan was reaching for the second juvenile (female) when he realized she was just out of reach as the vessel was now capsizing away from him. Trooper Ryan instructed the female juvenile to jump away from the capsizing vessel and swim to his Troop vessel. Trooper Ryan was then able to pull her safely onto his vessel. The vessel capsized and the adult male victim was thrown into the water. The adult male was able to swim to the Troop vessel where Trooper Ryan assisted him into the Troop vessel. The adult male advised all persons on board were accounted for and there was no one else on board the capsized vessel. No injuries were reported and all victims refused medical treatment.
Trooper Ryan’s quick response and assessment of this search and rescue along with his life saving skills saved the lives of this family. Trooper Ryan’s actions, training and experience all came together on this day to prevent what could have been the loss of three lives. Trooper Ryan’s actions are keeping with the finest traditions of the New Jersey State Police.