- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A San Diego County fishing boat captain and his crew have been honored by the U.S. Coast Guard for their daring rescue of 11 Chinese sailors from their burning vessel in the Pacific earlier this year.

U-T San Diego reports (https://bit.ly/1r84TaS) Greg Virissimo received the Coast Guard’s Meritorious Public Service award at a ceremony on Thursday. It is the second-highest award the Coast Guard gives to civilians.

Virissimo’s boat was first on the scene last May of a burning fishing vessel 1,500 miles east of Hawaii.

Over several hours Virissimo and his crew hauled 11 Chinese fishermen, four badly burned or dying, onto their own vessel. He coordinated with the Coast Guard and Air Force to fly in doctors and medical supplies.

Virissimo says he doesn’t consider himself a hero.

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Information from: U-T San Diego, https://www.utsandiego.com

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