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Coast Guard Honored for Rescue in Acadia After Hurricane Bill 

Catherine Pegram

A 12-year old girl rescued by Coast Guard crews in August finally got to meet her heros today.Members of the crew from Southwest Harbor were recognized for their life-saving efforts, in the wake of Hurricane Bill. “I really wanted to say thanks for everything, for rescuing me and stuff.”Simone Pelletier of Belfast came to this Coast Guard Ceremony to thank many – most importantly, Petty Officer Third Class, Stephen Hatch. “He was the one that was kind of like taking care of me down on the boat.”Hatch fought to keep Pelletier alive after a huge wave – stirred up by the remains of Hurricane Bill – washed up the rocks at Thunder Hole in Acadia National Park in August. They met again, for the first time since that harrowing day. “She smiled and said thank you and it was really reassuring for me to get to see her okay and talk with her. My first time experiencing that in my career.”Pelletier was one of three people Coast Guard crews pulled from the ocean. 56-year-old Peter Axilrod and his 7-year-old daughter, Clio, were also rescued. Clio did not survive.”Let’s have a moment of silence for Clio Axilrod”This ceremony even brought the head of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen, along with Senator Susan Collins, to Southwest Harbor.A dozen crew members in all were awarded for their efforts, in a community they’ve come to love.”We’re actually saving our neighbors and sometimes ourselves. And there’s nothing, nothing that matches the feeling of pulling somebody out of the water and giving them their lives back. That’s the reason we all do the work we do.”And the reason Simone Pelletier is here to thank them. At least 16 people were also treated for injuries.Without the quick work of Park Rangers and Coast Guard crews, it’s feared more people could have been hurt or killed.