Tag: aviation survival technician

Below Zero: Coast Guard rescue swimmers gear-up against frigid New England conditions

When there is a search and rescue case, the water temperature doesn’t matter, because the risk is always measured against the value of saving a life. This means our Coast Guard rescue swimmers must rely on their gear to protect them against the cold because “preparation can be the difference between life and death.”

Veterans Day: Paying service forward

Coast Guard VeteranTristan Heaton continues service with the Department of Veteran's Affairs, acting as the head of their summer Adaptive Sports programs. Photo courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Members who serve in any of the five armed services earn a highly coveted title that can never be taken from them: Veteran. Coast Guard Veteran Tristan Heaton has utilized the skills and training gained in his service to help other veterans as part of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Adaptive Sports program.

Chasing a dream

Seaman Derrian Duryea swims through the water

Listening to the helicopter’s rotor blades slice through the night sky while watching his feet dangle above the turbulent water, the words “never quit,” repeated over and over in his head. Never quit – words Seaman Derrian Duryea repeated to himself before high school swim meets and now words he lives by as a Coast Guardsman.

New year, new filter: AST1 Ian Powell

red flare

The Coast Guard continues our #NewYearNewFilter and the launch of our official Instagram account with a new perspective this week! We’ve asked Coast Guard members from around the fleet to be guest Instagrammers and in the past two weeks you’ve seen perspectives from Seaman Frank Iannazzo-Simmons at Patrol Forces Southwest Asia and Chief Warrant Officer Donnie Brzuska at Training Center Cape May. This week, Petty Officer 1st Class Ian Powell will use Instagram to share his unique perspectives in what it takes to be a Coast Guard rescue swimmer.

Do you have what it takes?


To prepare for whatever may come their way, rescue swimmers, or aviation survival technicians, train at the Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, N.C., the Coast Guard’s technical training provider for enlisted aviation forces. Take a look at this training exercise where rescue swimmers use what they learn from day one in a simulated emergency.

Living your creed

Training flight

A call came in from cruise ship, 150 miles east of Cape Lookout, N.C. A 50-year-old man suffered a heart attack and needed to get to a hospital. It was operations normal for most; another chance to save a life. However, for one junior petty officer, this case was far from the norm. He would be setting out on his first rescue since earning his spot as the Coast Guard rescue swimmer No. 830.

First female rescue swimmer promoted to chief petty officer

Chief Petty Officer Karen Voorhees

Chief Petty Officer Karen Voorhees is the first woman to advance to chief petty officer in the rate of aviation survival technician since women were integrated into Coast Guard active duty service in 1973.

Getting people out of bad situations

Shallow water rescue Featured Image

The Station Vallejo on-scene coxswain was unable to pilot the rescue boat close enough to the grounded vessel to effect a rescue. A helicopter crew from Air Station San Francisco was requested and the boat crew stayed until the entire family was safely hoisted aboard. Photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Vallejo. This story originally

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Don’t get carried away


Winter is a particularly dangerous time to be on the beaches of Northern California. Tragically, every year, people and their pets fall victim to sneaker waves. A sneaker wave is a large wave in a series of coastal waves. They frequently catch beachgoers, dog walkers and dogs off guard and wash them out to sea.