Connor Bystrom, C.J. Wickersham: Rescuer receives Coast Guard award after shark attacks friend

MIAMI - On Thursday, a man was awarded the Coast Guard Gold Lifesaving Medal for an act of heroism.

On Sept. 24, 2011, Connor Bystrom rescued his friend from an attacking bull shark off the coast of Anna Maria Island.

Bystrom immediately dove into the water to save his friend and help him get back into the boat.

"I guess I didn't think much. I just saw my best friend out there in the water surrounded by blood and just wanted to get back on the boat as quick as we could," said Bystrom.

"(It was) pretty heroic to jump in the water with all that blood around and to not know where the sharks were. He saved my life and I appreciate it," said Bystrom's friend, C.J. Wickersham.

The Gold Lifesaving Medal was established by Congress in 1874 and is one of the oldest military medals. 

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