It was a chilly summer afternoon in New York when Buffalo Niagara International Airport TSO Chris Hastings and his dad, Larry, decided to drive their motorboat on Canandaigua Lake. Temperatures were in the low 60s and it was fairly windy. “You certainly didn’t want to go for a swim that day, and we actually were debating whether to go out on the water that day at all,” Hastings said.
A man in his 40s and his young elementary-school-aged daughter were very glad that the Hastings decided to spend the afternoon on the lake.
As the father and son duo were riding along in their boat, the younger Hastings spotted what he thought was a black box in the water some distance away. At first, Hastings thought what he saw was a floating dock, but that didn’t make sense because it was too far out in the lake. As they approached, they realized it was a capsized sail boat, and as they pulled up, they saw a man and his daughter in the water, both clinging to the boat—neither wearing a life jacket.
The Hastings helped the two into the motor boat. “The young girl was shivering quite a bit,” Chris Hastings said, reflecting that the water temperatures were likely in the 50s. The father said that he had borrowed the boat and wasn’t an experienced sailor. A gust of wind flipped the sailboat, dumping them into the water about a mile from shore.
After getting the capsized boat right sided, the Hastings duo pulled alongside, helped them board the boat and followed them back to shore.
"In the 15 months Chris has been with TSA, he has shown himself to be the type of person who is always willing to help and step up to and face challenges, both in his professional and personal life,” said FSD Rick DePietro.
By Lisa Farbstein, Office of Strategic Communications/Public Affairs