Steve Scheren, Fairfax native, executes first Coast Guard rescue

Scheren, a Fairfax native, pulled off his first rescue May 18 off the North Carolina coast. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

It didn't take long for a Coast Guard petty officer from Fairfax to be called into action for his first rescue last month.

Coast Guard Junior Petty Officer 3rd Class Steve Scheren, a Northern Virginia native, had just completed rescue swimmer school and was on watch at an air station in North Carolina when he was dispatched to save a man who had suffered a heart attack aboard a cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

The rescue took place in the black of night on May 18 aboard the Carnival Splendor, which was about 150 miles east of the Atlantic coast. Luckily, Scheren and his Coast Guard colleagues encountered relatively calm conditions while reaching the 50-year-old man.

Scheren then quickly whisked the heart attack patient and the ship's nurse into the hovering helicopter and off to Norfolk for further care.

"You spend so long training, hearing instructors yell 'so others may live,' it's nice to really feel that you're living your creed," Scheren said in a prepared Coast Guard statement.

You can read more about the rescue at