On July 29th, Garrett McNamara was honored by the Portuguese Navy with the Vasco de Gama medal of honor. It is the highest honor in the Navy achievable by civilians and this is the first time it has ever been awarded to a person not of portuguese citizenship.
The medal of honor was given by the Chief of Staff, Admiral José Saldanha Lopes, who said ”Garrett had a big impact for the Hydrographic Office and the Navy. Feats of McNamara led us also to create a surf forecasting site and today we are supporting all sportsmen who visit us as well as anyone who wishes to go to the sea safely,” he said.
The Navy said he was chosen for the award as a result of his extraordinary career practicing surf, marked by excellent performance, and the example of discipline, perseverance, sacrifice and high professionalism, which contributed significantly to the promotion and dissemination of the Navy and Portugal. ”
“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine being honored by the Navy and receive such a prestigious award. This led me to realize that no matter where you come from, what you have, or what resources you have everything is possible.” McNamara told reporters.