Whether it is finding shelter, medical care, welcoming kids into school and making that transition easier or businesses offering military discounts, the community of Florence has shown their love and support for the Coast Guard. Florence is now the 24th Coast Guard City.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Darren Harrity, a 27-year-old native of Jupiter, Florida, individually pulled each fisherman more than 250 yards in 57-degree water from their life raft to shore, where they were met by emergency medical services. Each of the fishermen were the same size or bigger than the 6-foot, 175-pound Harrity.
The name “Coast Guard” can be a little deceiving. Many people don’t realize Coast Guardsmen are deployed around the world conducting a variety of military, law enforcement, regulatory and humanitarian missions. One of its most significant expeditionary missions is counter narcotics in the Western Hemisphere; more specifically, stopping drug smugglers in the “drug transit zones” of the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin.
Thursday’s week in the life of the Coast Guard 2014 features the Cutter Kukui from Hawaii, family day on the Delaware River, an unmanned Arctic flight from the Cutter Healy, dirty work in Newport, Oregon, and quick fixes at Base Honolulu.
For the past 224 years the Coast Guard has safeguarded our nation’s maritime interests, providing a 24/7 presence along America’s rivers, ports, coastline and on the high seas. But while the Coast Guard’s presence and impact is regional, national and international, our operations are often out of sight.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Blair Petterson, an aviation electronics technician at Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Ore., made a series of decisions that led him to the Coast Guard. It was at the air station that Petterson would conduct his first rescue as a member of a flight crew, which was also caught on video and would be highlighted on the television show “Coast Guard Cape Disappointment/Pacific Northwest.”
Of the Coast Guard’s approximate 4,800 boatswain’s mates, only about 200 are currently surfmen. There have only ever been roughly 500 surfmen in the service’s history. The path to qualification is wrought with discomfort, danger and dedication beyond the scope of normal human tolerance.
A Coast Guard flight mechanic, among many other navigational and mechanical responsibilities, is the person who operates the helicopter hoist. The hoist controls the cable that lowers equipment and people to and from a helicopter. The flight mechanic controls the hoist while simultaneously relaying commands to the helicopter pilot who is not able to see what is directly below the aircraft.
Nearly a decade later, looking out the window of the Jayhawk’s cockpit, Lt. Adriana Knies can’t help but admire the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. The stretch of coastal region between Tillamook Bay, Ore., and Vancouver Island, Canada, has been nicknamed the “Graveyard of the Pacific” because of its unpredictable seas and rough landscape that continually threaten mariners and outdoorsmen alike.
With sure hands on the throttle and helm, and an eye toward the sea and an on their crew, Coast Guard surfmen are considered the service’s most skilled coxswains and members of an elite community. They are boatswain’s mates – each individually numbered – that undertake immense responsibility in training others to operate safely in some of the most dangerous conditions imaginable.