Kotzebue boy saves his friend from drowning and is recognized 21 years later

 Geroge 'Radar' Lambert receives Silver Lifesaving Award.
Geroge 'Radar' Lambert receives Silver Lifesaving Award. (KTUU)
Published: May. 19, 2019 at 8:23 AM AKDT
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21 years after a life-saving action, a Kotzebue man is finally recognized by the Coast Guard for saving his neighbor and friend from drowning.

"If he let me go away with that current, I would probably never been found. That current swept me away, Radar didn't stand there or run to get help, he acted, he was so brave and so smart. He just grabbed that life jacket and he went in after me," says Pamela Smith at an awards ceremony for her friend Radar.

George "Radar" Lambert was only 10 years old when his quick thinking saved the life of 12-year-old Pamela Smith. Saturday, his actions were honored by the coast guard and Governor Mike Dunleavy.

He was presented with the silver lifesaving medal and says it was an instinct that caused him to grab the life jacket before they went swimming and instinct that caused him to jump in the water to save his friend.

"No time to think I just ran to the boat, grabbed a jacket. I didn't even think about it. I just put it on, jumped in that water, went and got my friend and made it back ashore and we are here to talk about it today," says Lambert.

This was the first recorded instance of a person being saved with the Kids Don't Float life jackets.

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