A team of U.S. Coast Guardsmen at the National Data Buoy Center helps to maintain a nation-wide network of data collecting weather buoys. The team organizes, coordinates and manages the deployment, service and recovery of 106 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorological weather buoys.
The Thomas Point Shoal Light is the last screw-pile lighthouse in its original foundation in the United States and the last lighthouse that Coast Guardsmen served in on the Chesapeake Bay. It represents a shared history with both Aids to Navigation and maritime and Coast Guard ATON crews maintain the aid with the same dedication as the crews that came before them for the last 230 years.
The Alcatraz Lighthouse not only guides mariners through the San Francisco Bay but also welcomes tourists to the island that used to house America’s most notorious inmates. Alcatraz Island was first used for a fort and military prison before becoming the most famous and formidable federal penitentiary in the nation. Today, members of Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) San Francisco keep the famous Bay Area light shining.
The Japan Coast Guard presented commemorative stamps commissioned to mark the 150th anniversary of Japan’s first lighthouse during an official visit with the U.S. Coast Guard Nov. 16.
On April 17, 1851, the newly constructed lighthouse at Minots Ledge collapsed into the sea surrounding the ledge killing both its lighthouse keepers. Located off the Massachusetts coast south of Boston, the failure of this state-of-the-art lighthouse had been in the making for years. The lighthouse was rebuilt and has withstood every subsequent gale, but the two keepers lost will remain an important chapter in the Coast Guard’s long blue line.
Crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Abbie Burgess (WLM-553) and Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) Southwest Harbor, Maine, placed flowers and national ensigns at the gravesites of Abbie Burgess and Isaac Grant, two renowned lighthouse keepers, during a visit to Thomaston, Maine, in August. Burgess was best known for keeping the Matinicus Light shining and later the Whitehead Lighthouse with her husband Grant.
The calm swells of the Port of Panama gave the Fir’s crew a perfect opportunity to show the Panama Canal Authority how buoys are maintained in the U.S. As the Panamanian crew traversed to the whistle buoy, they searched for the black-hulled tender sporting the iconic 64-degree Coast Guard red, white and blue racing stripe. There it was, on time, dead center of dozens of floating cargo ships.
The crews aboard buoy tenders like Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, homeported in Kodiak, Alaska, use both sledgehammers and hooks to work on buoys but with so many tools, wouldn’t it make sense to combine? That’s exactly what Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Spratt that earned him the 2017 Capt. Niels P. Thomsen Innovation Award after coming up with the hammer hook.
The U.S. Coast Guard was recognized by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) for its use of electronic Aids to Navigation (eATON) during the 2017 hurricane season.
The members of the international technical association selected the U.S. Coast Guard for its best practices award during its quadrennial conference in the Republic of Korea’s third largest city.
Bob Trainor spent 43 years of his life serving with the U.S. Coast Guard, 31 years as an enlisted and later chief warrant officer, and 12 years as a civil servant working at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. For the majority of his years in the service, Trainor worked as a guiding light in the Aids to Navigation field making U.S. waterways safer, more efficient, and more resilient. Fair winds and following seas Mr. Trainor!