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Guam-based sailor receives medal for heroism

A Guam-based sailor sprang into action last month to help a car crash victim and has received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his efforts to save a man’s life.

Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Andrew Pluss was driving along the South Pacific island’s Route 1 on July 16 when he saw a car accident, with a victim lying unresponsive in the street, according to a Pentagon release.

Pluss administered CPR until first responders arrive.

Assigned to the submarine tender Frank Cable, Pluss said he didn’t know at that time if the man had died.

“My thought was, ‘This could be something to save his life,’” he said in the release. “He many not be responding now, but once all the available medical personnel and more equipment arrives, they may be able to save him based off of what I was doing.”

Pluss said sailors in the electrician’s mate rating contend with the risk of a heart-stopping electrical jolt, and that he stopped to help the man because “it was what was right to do.”

play_circle_filled Apra Harbor, Guam, is seen April 17, 2013. (MC1 Jeffrey Jay Price/Navy)
Q&A: What does the US military do on the island of Guam?

The small U.S. territory of Guam has become a focal point after North Korea’s army threatened to use ballistic missiles to create an “enveloping fire” around the island. The exclamation came after President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang of “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Here’s a look at the U.S. military’s role on the island, which became a U.S. territory in 1898.

In the moment, Pluss said he trusted in his training.

“It naturally kicked in,” he said. “There was no point where I was like, ‘do I need to do this? Should I do this?’ It was more of, ‘he’s in trouble. Go help him.’”

Frank Cable’s skipper, Capt. Jeffrey Farah, praised Pluss’ efforts.

“Pluss is a hard-working sailor in our repair department,” he said in the release. “The award was given because of his heroism, but he’s also doing hard work every single day while he’s here.”

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