Seattle Resident Awarded Carnegie Medal For Green Lake Rescue

December 28, 2023

In a heartwarming celebration of courage and selflessness, Benjamin Ramsay, a 24-year-old Seattle resident, has been honored with the prestigious Carnegie Medal – the highest accolade for civilian heroism in North America.

This recognition comes as part of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission's fourth award announcement this year, acknowledging 18 exceptional individuals from the U.S. and Canada who risked their lives to save others.

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Benjamin Ramsay / Carnegie Hero Fund Commission

Ramsay's heroic act unfolded on April 21, 2021, at Green Lake, where he fearlessly saved a teenage boy from a life-threatening situation. The commission reported that the boy, while swimming in the lake, submerged about 80 feet from the shore and failed to resurface.

Alerted by shouts for help, Ramsay, a paddleboarder seated nearby on the platform, paddled toward the commotion. Although the murky, 65-degree water obscured Ramsay’s ability to see beneath the water’s surface, bubbles rising to the surface near his paddleboard led him to conclude that the boy submerged at that spot. Ramsay demonstrated extraordinary bravery by diving 15 feet to the lake's bottom to locate the unconscious teenager.

Upon resurfacing, he found that his paddleboard was no longer within reach. Ramsay took a deep breath and repositioned the unresponsive boy, wrapping an arm around his chest. He then slowly backstroked toward shore.

Ramsay was tiring quickly and he struggled to keep both their heads above water. A female paddleboarder in another party then responded to them at a point halfway to shore. Ramsay grasped onto the board with one arm while still holding the boy. The woman leaned across her paddleboard and kicked until she reached shallow water while holding onto Ramsay and the boy.

The boy was moved onto shore, where he expelled water during efforts to revive him. He recovered after treatment at a nearby hospital.

Ramsay was cold and fatigued, but did not require medical treatment.

The CHFC was created by businessman Andrew Carnegie on April 15, 1904. The goal of the fund is to recognize outstanding acts of selfless heroism performed in the United States and Canada.

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