Two Hannibal cousins are being recognized for heroism for their actions in response to a boating accident last year.

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The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission Monday announced the awarding of the Carnegie Medal, the highest honor for civilian heroism, to 17 people nationwide, including 38 year old Robert Whitley and 36 year old James Whitley II, both of Hannibal.

According to Carnegie officials, the Whitleys were in a jon boat on the Mississippi River near Hull, Illinois August 3rd of 2019, when they observed a pontoon boat carrying six people collided with a moored barge and capsized.

While risking being swept into or under the barge themselves, the Whitleys were able to rescue four of the six people who were on the pontoon boat.

The Carnegie Medal is given in the U.S. and Canada to those who enter mortal danger while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

Along with the Carnegie Medal, award winners also get a financial grant.

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