Coast Guardsman honored for taking action during Navy Jet Crash in Virginia Beach

Posted at 10:28 PM, Feb 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-05 22:28:36-05

A Coast Guardsman is being honored for his quick response after a jet crashed into the Mayfair Mews Apartments.

Petty Officer Second Class Nicholas Beane took quick action saving lives.

He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

When he saw the flames last year, he wasn`t even on duty; he was at lunch!

But it didn`t stop him from taking action when he helped people inside the Mayfair Mews Apartment Complex get out safely.

“I've been in the Coast Guard for 12 years. We just don't turn around the opposite way. I mean, we head toward it. I knew there was people that needed help so there really wasn't a thought of anything but go get those people,” says Beane.

But it didn`t stop there. Beane saw the downed pilot and he cut him free from his parachute and helped drag him 300 feet away from the flames.

So to honor him, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

“It’s the running joke that I was the hero, but anyone of the guys and girls in that room and the ones that are not in that room and are out training right now would have done the exact same thing,” says Beane.

The Coast Guard says Beane is one of their top performers and his actions show the capability and adaptability of other members.

The Meritorious Service Medal is a military award presented to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who distinguish themselves by an outstanding achievement or by service to the United States. It is the non-combat counterpart to the Bronze Star Medal.