BM2 Christian Lorenzo wins Coast Guard award


A Coast Guard boatswain from American Samoa was awarded the Commander Ray Evans Outstanding Coxswain Trophy (active duty component) for heroic efforts in saving lives during the Lahaina fires last year.

He is Christian Lorenzo a graduate of Pacific Horizons and an outstanding member of the American Samoa Sailing Program.

The trophy is presented by the Coast Guard each year to an enlisted coxswain who demonstrates exemplary performance and superior technical, professional, leadership, and seamanship abilities while operating a Coast Guard boat.

In the award announcement, the Coast Guard said BM2 Lorenzo’s dedication and exemplary leadership shone brightly during high-risk missions in a dynamically challenging operating environment.

Certified as a Response Boat-Small II (RB-S II) and Response Boat Medium (RB-M) Coxswain, he led 167 sorties, accumulating 281 underway hours, and played a pivotal role in saving or assisting 15 lives while recovering over $1.6M in property.

A defining moment in BM2 Lorenzo’s career occurred during the Western Maui Wildfire response where he and his crew rescued 12 lives amidst the chaos.

Responding to a distress call on the evening of August 8, 2023, which reported 100 people stranded in the water due to the raging fire in Lahaina, he navigated the RB-M with precision despite formidable challenges such as heavy smoke and strong winds. His adept piloting skills, combined with local knowledge, facilitated the successful rescue of survivors from a sailboat and a break wall, providing essential medical attention along the way. Despite facing an engine casualty, BM2 Lorenzo expertly maneuvered through debris, ensuring the safe passage of survivors and crew to shore.

John Goeke of the American Samoa Sailing Association said that when Lorenzo first enlisted in the Coast Guard, reports started to come back that he was way ahead of the pack on his knowledge of the ocean and boats. He was active for several years in the earn to sail program—first as a student, then (when he was proficient) as one of our best instructors. He also taught himself how to windsurf and built his own surfboard from scratch. A real waterman.