Category: Search and Rescue

RDT&E Spotlight: Ready for Rescue prize competition

The Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) narrowed the field in the U.S. Coast Guard Ready for Rescue Challenge with a Piranha Pool pitch event. The competition seeks enhancements for personal flotation devices that will help make it easier for Coast Guard rescue personnel to find people in the water who are in need of aid.

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard’s storm warriors fight Hurricane Florence

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp at the re-dedication of the newly-restored Coast Guard World War Memorial on its 85th anniversary at Arlington National Cemetery May 23, 2013, in Arlington, Va. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

As some North Carolinians were returning to their homes and recovering from 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, a new storm was tracking towards the East Coast. On Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, at 7:15 a.m., Hurricane Florence made landfall at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, with sustained winds of 90 mph. However, the flooding associated with Florence would prove more devastating than just hurricane-force winds. Hurricane Florence dropped more than 33 inches of rain in portions of North Carolina, causing widespread destruction that people could never have imagined.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Ken White, Angel of the Airwaves

Clay Evans, the Maritime Search and Rescue Western Region superintendent (left), and Capt. Brian Glander, the Coast Guard 11th District chief of incident management (right), present Ken White with the Coast Guard Public Service Commendation award at his home in Powell River, British Columbia, Feb. 9, 2019. White has dedicated more than 40 years of service to assisting mariners in distress. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Ken White, a Canadian citizen, has dedicated more than 40 years to helping mariners in distress. He monitors a wide range of emergency frequencies and quickly passes any information on through to the Rescue Coordination Center in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Alameda, California. For his endless dedication to helping the maritime community, the Coast Guard awarded White the Coast Guard Public Service Commendation.

The Long Blue Line: A wartime rescue by Cutter Argo 75 years ago

Cutter Argo (WPC-100) on patrol. Originally designed for Prohibition law enforcement, this type of cutter was particularly seaworthy and maneuverable. With the U.S. entry into World War II, Argo was attached to the Atlantic Fleet as a convoy escort vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

It’s been 75 years since the wartime search and rescue efforts of the cutter Argo but it will forever remain a chapter in the saga of the long blue line. Cutters Argo and Thetis were part of a convoy off Cape May, New Jersey, when American tanker Camas Meadows steamed unescorted by an inexperienced crew, fatally rammed a Navy patrol gunboat. Argo’s officer of the day activated a search and rescue operation and rescued 23 survivors – 106 crew members of the Navy gunboat were lost.

Coast Guard remembers fallen shipmates in Atlantic City rescue tragedy of 1932

A wreath to honor five Coast Guard members who lost their lives 87-year ago is prepared before a memorial service held by Coast Guard Station Atlantic City members at the Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City, New Jersey on March 6, 2019. On March 6, 1932, five members of Coast Guard Lifeboat Station Atlantic City attempted to search for a missing fishing boat in a nor’easter off Atlantic City, which resulted in the death of five crew members. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Seth Johnson

On March 6, 1932, five Coast Guardsmen lost their lives while attempting to assist a fishing boat off the coast of Atlantic City, N.J. The ripples from the tragedy are still felt today as members of Coast Guard Station Atlantic City hold an annual memorial and wreath laying ceremony.

“We hold this memorial annually to remember and honor those who gave their lives in service, and who are part of our proud heritage as lifesavers and as Coast Guard men and women.” – Lt. Taylor Smith

Making history in the sky

Lt. Ronaqua Russell recently became the first African-American female aviator in the Coast Guard receive the Air Medal in honor of her heroic actions in response to Hurricane Harvey, one of the most destructive storms in U.S. history. She was honored in a ceremony at Tuskegee’s Moton Field where, 77 years ago, the first African-American aviators in the U.S. Armed Services broke down racial barriers to earn their wings, and later go on to fly several heroic and critical combat missions in World War II.

The Long Blue Line: Coast Guard “River Cutter” pioneered desegregation 100 years ago

Nearly 100 years ago in the Deep South, in an area that held the nation’s worst records of discrimination and violence toward blacks, the Great 1913 Flood killed between 600-900 people and left 250,000 Americans homeless. Ironically, the Coast Guard made history by enlisting an all-black crew aboard river cutter Yocona, not to set records but because they were the best-qualificed watermen near Yocona’s homeport of Vicksburg, Mississippi, rescuing and transporting disaster victims from the Great 1913 Flood. Yocona proved to be the first federal vessel in peacetime manned by a racially integrated crew and set a precedent to desegregate the nation’s sea service vessels.

Standing the watch over the Graveyard of the Atlantic

(Left to right): Richard Etheridge, Rasmus Midgett and John Allen Midgett's busts stand on the background of North Carolina's Outer Banks. Nicknamed the Graveyard of the Atlantic, these waters have been home to shipwrecks and to rescues performed by members of the Life Saving Service and U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Coast Guard illustration by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Canup.

For hundreds of years, mariners have nicknamed North Carolina’s Outer Banks the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” based on the history of ships lost in its waters. Even for experienced Coast Guard members, traversing the area can prove a difficult task. However, Coast Guard men and women stand the watch, just as the crews before them did.

The Long Blue Line: Warren Deyampert – African-American rescue swimmer of World War II

Painting of the Escanaba rescue effort by an unknown artist. (U.S. Coast Guard)

In a time of unrest, when U-boats patrolled the icy waters of the North Atlantic, a crew of three bravely volunteered to serve the hazardous duty of rescue swimmer aboard Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba. Second Class Officer’s Steward Warren Deyampert worked on the cutter to develop a system of tethered rescue swimmers that ultimately saved well over 100 lives after an enemy submarine torpedoed U.S. Army transport Dorchester. Despite his secondary status in a segregated service, Deyampert placed the needs of others before his own and was posthumously awarded the Navy & Marine Corps Medal and Purple Heart Medal.