Meet Oscar

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Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Flemming form Coast Guard Station Galveston uses a boat hook to pull the unit's "Oscar" closer to the rescue boat. Photo by Petty Oficer 3rd Class Mario Romero.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Flemming form Coast Guard Station Galveston uses a boat hook to pull the unit's "Oscar" closer to the rescue boat. Photo by Petty Oficer 3rd Class Mario Romero.

Have you ever met one of our most important Guardians, Oscar? He is about 120-pounds, usually wears a mustang suit and works at Coast Guard small boat stations across the nation. Okay, so he may look eerily real but he’s not. He’s a dummy, used for training and simulating rescues of people in the water. During drills, coxswains practice maneuvering the boat and crewmembers shout out commands in preparation for rescuing “Oscar.”

Sometimes, crewmembers won’t even wait for “Oscar” to be onboard to start a man overboard drill. They will simply throw a life ring or lifejacket overboard and holler “Man Overboard!” The crew jumps into action and begins to execute the procedures they train so hard to perfect.

Training is something Guardians of all ratings and ranks in any job and at any unit take very seriously. Whether they are preparing for a full-scale exercise to test their ability to respond to a major national incident, conducting pollution response training, or doing interagency communications drills, they are preparing and gaining valuable experience in the event of an emergency.

Click here to read a story about small boat training with “Oscar” in New Jersey.

Click here to read a story about pollution training between both the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard.

Click here to read about successful interagency radio communications between the Coast Guard and local officials in Louisiana.

Click here to read about a multinational exercise focused on defending the Panama Canal.

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