Two local community members who came to the rescue of two pilots whose airplane crashed into the ocean off the coast of Malibu last year have been honored by the Malibu City Council and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Santa Monica resident Mike Dwyer and Venice resident Jason Sandoval, employees of Malibu-based toymaker JAKKS Pacific, were recognized for their actions at meetings of the City Council Monday, January 12th, and the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, January 13th.

The awards were presented by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky of the Third District, in conjunction with other supervisors Don Knabe, Gloria Molina, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Michael D. Antonovich, as well as Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich.

“It’s very flattering,” said Dwyer, who is JAKKS Pacific senior vice president for legal and human resources, of the recognition. “I’m genuinely honored that what we did was recognized and appreciated by so many people.”

Dwyer and Sandoval quickly arrived at the scene where a single-engine plane had crashed minutes after takeoff from Santa Monica Airport into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Malibu. The plane entered the water just across the street from the Malibu headquarters of JAKKS Pacific on October 7th.

The two men, who had witnessed the crash from their offices, swam out to the sinking plane and pulled the two passengers ashore.

Dwyer and Sandoval displayed “undaunted courage and selfless regard for the two pilots as they risked their own lives and personal safety in the extraordinary effort to rescue the victims,” supervisors said. One of the two victims, Griffith Lisle Hoerner, later succumbed to injuries he sustained in the plane crash.

“The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is pleased to honor Mike Dwyer and Jason Sandoval for their extraordinary courage, presence of mind and courage in saving two people,” said Yaroslavsky. “We thank them both for being great citizens.”

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