Bud rescued a number of desperate souls that night, at great personal risk, but to this day he doesn't consider himself a hero. They had to force the award on him; he even returned a $125 check Eastern had sent him by mistake, thinking that he had been hired to take part in the rescue.
Many of the survivors tried to pay Bud for his aid that night; he wouldn't accept their money.
If you're in the area, you can join the Southern Airboat Association for a "Southernairboat.com Bullfrog Bud Marquis Ride, Feast and Appreciation Ceremony." As advertised on their website:
Ride the Glades to the crash site with The Angel of the Everglades,
"Bullfrog" Bud Marquis, rescuer of Eastern Airlines Flight 401 crash victims
See Bud's historic airboat as rebuilt by Southernairboat.com members
All Airboaters are welcome and encouraged to relive this unparalleled event in airboating history and to join members of southernairboat.com as we retrace the path and efforts of a historic Gladesman, "Bullfrog" Bud Marquis.
While frog hunting deep in the Everglades 35 years ago, Bud saw the plane crash and responded with his own airboat. He showed uncommon courage in spite of tremendous personal peril and was injured by his actions to save victim's lives deep in the heart of Florida's Everglades.
Join us as we honor the heroic efforts of Bud, show him and Nancy our deep appreciation and share in a Florida Airboat Association hosted Florida Cracker Feast immediately after the ride.