KODIAK, Alaska – An 8-year-old boy from Woodland, Washington, has become an honorary rescue swimmer with the U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska.
Andrew Bishop went through his training at Air Station Kodiak on Friday, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported.
Andrew has a life-threatening medical condition. The Make-A-Wish Foundation made his trip to Alaska possible.
Petty Officer 1st Class Keola Marfil, who trained with Andrew, said he doesn’t think anything could have crushed Andrew’s spirits while training in the water.
“I’ve never been a part of a wish before,” Marfil said. “It’s amazing to see. … I just feel lucky to be a part of it, because it’s something that he’ll remember for the rest of his life and it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
His father, T.J. Bishop, said Andrew first learned about rescue swimmers two years ago during a physical therapy trip to Florida. Andrew befriended a rescue swimmer from Air Station Miami and the idea blossomed.
“I think I’m probably in more awe than (Andrew) is,” Bishop said. “He will talk about this forever. … He’ll never forget any of this.”
Andrew was given an official rescue swimmer number. His name will be on the board at the Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City as an honorary rescue swimmer.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.