Sgt. Shawn Fields with the Stone County Sheriff’s Office was recognized for “acts of heroism” during the Branson Duck boat disaster by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and President Donald Trump.
That’s according to Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader, who posted a statement to his office’s social media page Thursday night.
“He does not claim to be a hero, he is just a deputy doing his job. He never hesitated when tragedy struck a week ago. Sgt. Fields and other heroes that we do not even know showed great courage,” Rader said.
A tourist duck boat on Table Rock Lake capsized during a storm on the night of July 19. Seventeen people died, including several children.
Rader said Fields first met Parson, Parson’s wife, Teresa, and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe. Then Fields met with Trump, he said.
“All of us at Stone County Sheriff’s Office are so very proud of Sgt. Shawn Fields,” said Rader.
Parson also applauded Fields’ actions in a Facebook post.
Parson described Field as “an off-duty officer” who helped with rescue efforts at Table Rock Lake.
“We are proud of the work of our emergency responders and civilian rescuers did the night of the tragedy, and we are grateful to them,” Parson said.
It’s unclear where the meetings took place. Trump was in Missouri earlier this week to speak to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City.
The morning after the duck boat capsized, Trump tweeted his condolences.
“My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved in the terrible boat accident which just took place in Missouri,” Trump said on Twitter. “Such a tragedy, such a great loss. May God be with you all!”
On Monday, crews salvaged the sunken duck boat from the bottom of the lake, about 80 feet below the surface.
An inspection of the amphibious vessel is an important part of the ongoing investigation into the disaster, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
By Alissa Zhu | Springfield News Leader