Yale recognized a student who is credited with saving several people from drowning at the university’s Veterans Day ceremony.
Amanda Lloyd transferred to Yale in the fall, but it is what she did over the summer in her hometown of Watertown, New York that earned the Air Force ROTC Cadet Captain a Gold Valor Award.
"I’m really humbled by the experience," Lloyd told NBC Connecticut. "I just like to think anyone would do the same thing in this situation. I’m just glad I can serve as an example for others."
On July 9, Lloyd and several friends were at the Lake Ontario Beach in Watertown.
"We saw five people really in distress in the water and we just did the best we can to like establish a rescue team," Lloyd said.
Before police and the Coast Guard could arrive, Lloyd and a friend used two lifejackets to bring three distressed swimmers to shore, before going back into the water to save two more women.
"It was really kind of scary," she said. "It was really just a hard situation to deal with."
A sixth swimmer drowned, but five women and children are alive today because of Lloyd and her friends’ selfless acts.
"I’m just so proud to be the president of a university where service is really part of our DNA," Yale President Peter Salovey said. "To recognize Amanda today as an exemplar of that commitment to service, it’s amazing."
Lloyd is a junior majoring in chemistry.
"After graduation I really hope that I get a pilot’s slide and go on to fly cargo planes," she told NBC Connecticut. "I’m really interested in the C-17 and C-130. Kind of runs in the family now so it’s the family business so I’m really excited about that."
Veterans Day means a lot to Lloyd because her dad is a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Army. He was a helicopter pilot and her brother is now in flight school after graduating from West Point.
Lloyd said it should Veterans Day every day.