Jeff Pleadwell has been running Jeff’s Pirates Cove since 1979. For the past 41 years, he and his staff have saved lives and promoted ocean stewardship.
On Thursday morning, Pleadwell and his staff — Douglas Phillip, Lornis Rhaym, Titus Kiauol, Wender Head and Hanson Low — were recognized by Senator Clynt Ridgell for saving the lives of over 50 people who were in distress in the Togcha channel.
The restaurant employees are part of “Jeff’s Watch” — a rescue team formed by Pleadwell.
“Jeff’s Watch” is a group of diverse individuals from Guam and the Micronesian region.
Phillip, Rhaym and Kiauol are from the island of Moch in the Mortlock region of Chuuk. According to a release, both Phillip and Rhaym moved to Guam in the mid-90s and, today, they are the primary duo who are sent into the rough Togcha channel waters. Phillip has the most training and experience and has rescued over 25 people since he began working at Jeff’s in 2002.
Rhaym has only worked at Jeff’s for a year and has already rescued one person. Kiauol is the primary mechanic and engineer for the rescue team.
Head and Low are from Kapingaramangi, in Pohnpei state. Head is part of the sled team and he often uses a kayak for rescues. Low has been employed at Jeff’s Pirates Cove the longest, according to the release
Pleadwell said: “So here at Jeff’s Pirates Cove… when I took over in 1979…we’ve always had incidences where people would get in trouble in the water here…and we used to go out there with ropes and life rings and rescue people.”
He added: “The key here is to react right away…when somebody is in trouble, go get them before they go too far out and they go over the edge of the reef and into the open oceans.”
Pleadwell and his rescue team have spent hundreds of hours in training.