Pictured at a Red Cross recognition ceremony at The Cloister, on Sea Island, are Ashley Henyan, communications manager, Red Cross of Georgia, in front, from left, Christopher Morris, Nelson Adams and Ben O’Steen; and Laura Ginn, safety and compliance manager, Sea Island Co., second row, from left, Eliot VanOtteren, Jesse “Jon Boat” Johnson and Gavin Earl.

For heroic actions on three separate occasions, Sea Island Resort employees Nelson Adams, Gavin Earl, Chris Morris, Ben O’Steen and Eliot VanOtteren were recently honored with Red Cross Lifesaving Awards and employee Jesse Johnson was honored with the Certificate of Merit – the highest award given by the American Red Cross.

Earl and O’Steen were honored for their actions in saving two young boys who had taken in too much water and became trapped on a sandbar in Gould’s Inlet, on St. Simons Island, after being alerted by a water rescue alert. They responded with a john-boat and a jet ski, and got the boys to land, where Glynn County EMS took over.

The Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders is presented to Red Cross-trained professional responders and healthcare professions acting to save or sustain a life while on duty.

The Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action is given to individuals and teams who saved or sustained a life and are not Red Cross trained.

Earl was honored with a Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders, and O’Steen was honored with a Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action.

Norris was awarded a Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action for performing a lifesaving technique on a customer in Tavola Restaurant who choked, and became unable to breathe. After performing three abdominal thrusts, the customer was able to cough, breathe and talk again.

On Aug. 3, VanOtteren, Adams and Johnson helped save the lives of three children who were taken out to sea at Gould’s Inlet, on St. Simons Island. VanOtteren, the staff photographer for Sea Island, was on the beach taking pictures of wildlife when he saw the children. He called 911, and then helped the child closest to him to shore. The other children were nearly 1 mile out, and Adams and Johnson rescued them with jet skis. The children were then attended to by Glynn County EMS.

VanOtteren and Adams were awarded certificates of Extraordinary Personal Action and Johnson received a the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit.

The Certificate of Merit is the highest award given by the American Red Cross, for an individual or team who saves or sustains a life by using skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Training Services course. The certificate bears the signature of the President of the United States, who is the honorary chairman of the American Red Cross, and the signature of the chairman of the American Red Cross.