ROANOKE, Va. – The Coast Guard has honored a Roanoke father and son for their heroic actions. Two weeks ago, a North Carolina man fell off his boat with no life jacket and the boat kept going with no one on it.
For Andrew Sherman and his son Jack, life is back to normal. Jack has returned to the Naval academy after spending some time at the family beach house in North Carolina, and Andrew is back in Roanoke taking care of work. But they both have some pretty outstanding hardware to go along with a day they’ll never forget.
“When we were looking for him that day, we were both just laser-focused on just doing the job we had to do and find him before he stayed in the water any longer than he did,” Andrew Sherman said.
The “him” in this case was Sascha Scheller, a North Carolina local who had gone deep sea fishing by himself earlier this month. Scheller briefly took off his life jacket and was not wearing his kill switch when he fell overboard and his boat left him behind.
Scheller’s boat then nearly ran the Sherman’s down forty miles off the coast of Wrightsville Beach as they were deep-sea fishing themselves. The Sherman’s then took it upon themselves to try to find Scheller after alerting the Coast Guard. USCG Sector North Carolina Commander Captain Matt Baer said assets were still at least 90 minutes away.
You can listen to an excerpt of the father and son’s communication with the Coast Guard below:
“I had the biggest pit in my stomach when I got the call on this one and it was also the most joyful call I got about an hour later when he said ‘I found him, I found him,’” Baer said.
Coast Guard officials presented both Shermans with medals for their heroics in a ceremony in Wilmington, North Carolina. About 50 personnel were in attendance, as well as Scheller and their family and friends.
Scheller thought he was going to die that day and had been in the ocean for nearly three hours by the time he was rescued.
“You know, I’m indebted for life, you know they gave me everything back that I thought I had last. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to stand here and to talk about it,” Scheller said.
While the awards and global buzz are nice, Sherman said their new friendship is what’s most important. And now he’s looking at life a little differently too.
“Most importantly, his wife said something to me where she said ‘You not only saved his life, but you saved out family’s future,’” Sherman said.