Volusia County Sheriff's Office
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Aside arrow Six Deputies Honored For Life Saving Heroics During Marina Fire
September 2, 2003 12:00 pm

Gary Davidson
Public Information Officer


While a raging fire at the Boat Show Marina near DeLand on July 25 caused massive property damage, the good news is that no one lost their life. On Tuesday, Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson issued commendations to six deputies who risked their own safety in order to evacuate the marina and prevent any serious injury to residents who were asleep on their boats when the fire broke out. “You risked yourselves, and I’m real proud of you,” Sheriff Johnson told the group during an awards ceremony Tuesday morning in Daytona Beach. “With employees like this, we know the future of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is in good hands.” 

Sergeant Michael Havenner, the first deputy to reach the scene, located an ailing 72-year-old man on one of the boats and helped evacuate him to safety. Sergeant Havenner then went boat-to-boat to alert other potential occupants to the danger. He also helped coordinate the response of other deputies and assisted fire rescue personnel in removing an injured person and preparing him for medical transport for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. For his bravery and heroics, Sergeant Havenner was awarded the Medal of Valor. The Medal of Valor is the department’s second-highest honor. This marks the first time Sheriff Johnson has awarded the Medal of Valor since he took office in January 2001. Turning to the other deputies under Sergeant Havenner’s supervision, Sheriff Johnson remarked: “Any time you have a group like this, you have a good leader.” Along with the medal, Sergeant Havenner was represented with a citation, which noted that he acted with “speed, bravery and calm professionalism under extremely perilous conditions, and in so doing helped to prevent any loss of life.” 

Sheriff Johnson also honored five other deputies in Sergeant Havenner’s shift -- Khari Brown, Brian Bosco, Brian Henderson, Kevin Welty and Gregg Yackel -- who responded as backup to help ensure a safe and orderly evacuation from the burning boats. One deputy even grabbed a hose to water down a vessel in an effort to protect it from the advancing flames. The deputies also helped residents locate pets and personal belongings, moved parked vehicles to a safe distance and compiled a list of evacuated residents to determine whether anyone was missing. All five were awarded a Unit Commendation along with citations honoring them for “exemplary performance of their duties under extremely dangerous circumstances.”

Volusia County Sheriff's Office

Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352

Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151

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