MANTEO, N.C. (WAVY) – A former Cape Hatteras National Seashore ranger was recognized this week for her heroic actions.

Valerie Streiff received the U.S. Coast Guard’s Silver Lifesaving Medal for saving two visitors to the Outer Banks from a rip current on Oct. 18, 2020.

The medal presentation event was held at U.S. Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet.

An award citation was read that detailed the reason for the recognition. A man and his 10-year-old son got caught in a rip current and Streiff heard their frantic screams while patrolling the beach. She threw on a life jacket and swam out approximately 60 yards to reach the pair struggling to keep their heads above water. Streiff, who was once a lifeguard, used her training to battle the dangerous conditions and pull the father and son to safety.

“If not for her immediate and heroic efforts and putting her own life at risk for two complete strangers, their lives would have been lost. Her unselfish actions and valiant service reflect great credit upon herself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of humanitarian service.”

National Park Service

William Butler, the father whose life was saved by Ranger Streiff, spoke at the event and expressed his gratitude for her heroic actions.