GM3 Christopher Barsness

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: GM3 Christopher Barsness

On June 9, Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma was moored in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while on a routine patrol. Four crewmembers headed to a local beach to relax and spend some time away from the cutter. While there, they noticed a couple – Taylor and Laura Ford – trapped in a strong rip current. Recognizing the beach had no lifeguards on duty, Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Barsness, a gunner’s mate, sprang into action. Taylor Ford was near drowning when Barsness reached him. Barsness was able to pull Ford from the water, calming him and waiting by his side until medical assistance arrived.