Rescue swimmer awarded Distinguished Flying Cross for swimming through hell to rescue 59 others

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HOUSTON, TX – AUGUST 28: A Coast Guard helicopter hoists a wheel chair on board after lifting a person to safety from the area that was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

He swam at night through 80 knot winds, ripped through a roof without the aid of a chainsaw and was repeatedly hoisted more than 100 feet into the air while battling turbulence and dangerous power lines around him as he aided in the rescue of 59 others in Houston, Texas, as Hurricane Harvey battered the area in August 2017.

For his heroic feats during Harvey, Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyler Gantt, a Coast Guard aviation survival technician, or rescue swimmer, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross — the U.S. military’s oldest aviation award for heroism in flight — during a ceremony in December at the Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama.

His exploits in the rescue of 59 were detailed in award citation the Coast Guard posted in a news release. Two others, Coast Guard Cmdr. Scott Sanborn and Lt. John Briggs also were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for their heroism in response to Hurricane Harvey, a news release detailed.

Operating aboard a MH-65D Coast Guard helciopter, Gantt was deployed to Houston for rescue operations following flooding as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

Gantt was launched “into an unfamiliar operating area at night with winds gusting over 80 knots, visibility below 50 feet and torrential rain to respond to a critically-ill pregnant woman trapped by rising waters in her attic,” the award citation reads.

While dealing with “severe turbulence,” Gannt was hoisted multiple times “through a small opening between active power lines to search for and triage the ill woman,” the citation detailed.

In another rescue, “Gantt dove from the roof into the swift-moving water to grab an infant who was swept away from his father,” according to the citation.

Gantt “then located additional survivors signaling from a home being quickly engulfed by the flood waters. Without the use of a chainsaw, he tore through the roof to extract and hoist the seven people to safety before water overtook the home,” the award citation reads.

Sanborn was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for flying in dangerous weather and thunderstorms with nearly 50 knot winds. His efforts led to the rescue of 24 people, according to his award citation.

Briggs was the aircraft commander about an MH-65 during Harvey relief effort, his heroism in Houston led to the rescue of 120 people, per the award citation.

The Air Medal was also presented to Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Yockey, for his heroism while serving as a mechanic aboard an MH-65. Yockey helped navigate the helicopter and rescue swimmer through multiple rescues in a number of dangerous situations. His efforts helped rescue 27 people during Harvey relief efforts, according to an award citation.

Harvey battered Texas and Louisiana in Aug. 2017, causing billions in damages. The medals were presented in December by Rear Adm. John Nadeau, the commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District.

Chinese pastor preached to more than 1.000 people before being executed

Rev. Han Chung-Ryeol, a pastor who ministered on the China-North Korea border, was found guilty for doing charitable work based on his Christian faith.

Death penalty was the verdict given to this man whose only crime was to feed and shelter thousands of North Koreans over the years.

Since 2003, the pastor was on the most wanted list in Pyongyang for sharing the gospel.  He shared his Christian faith with more than 1,000 North Koreans before he was assassinated in 2016.

He preached everyone around him with his great personality and passion for God´s work.  He helped every person he could with clothing, food, and words of hope before sending them back to North Korea for them to help and preach the gospel to their families as well.

After planting a church near the North Korea border, he continue helping people, homeless, soldiers, prostitutes and people in hunger, and many others.

A North Korean´s testimony

Sang-chul, a witness who received pastor Han´s help, shared his story in a short documentary from The Voice of the Martyrs.

The North Korean said he didn’t have work or food in his village so he snuck across the mountain border into China, picking mushrooms along the way in hopes of selling them in a market. He ran into Han, who offered to sell them and give him the money. Sang-chul knew something was different when the pastor didn’t cheat him out of any money, but he wondered why a Chinese citizen would help him, knowing the danger.

“Pastor Han gave his life, but he gave hope to me and to many other North Koreans,” Sang-chul said. “And despite the ever-present danger, many of us will continue to share the message that God is real.”

The North Korean Christian concludes: “We hope that our sacrifice, when the day comes, will be worthwhile, just like it was for Pastor Han.

Do This In Memory of Me


When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.” And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”  And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing. ~Luke 22:14-23 NASB 


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