On October 10, 1966, the Coast Guard and U.S. Air Force joined forces to open the National Search and Rescue School in Yorktown, Virginia, to provide training in oceanic, coastal and inland search planning procedures. The school, which has delivered training to 30,000 people, including more than 2,400 international students from 150 nations, recently celebrated 50 years of Service to Nation.
Tag: Search and Rescue
It was 6:10 a.m., when it came ashore in southeast Louisiana, blowing 125 mph winds and dumping heavy rain. No one could predict just how devastating the strong Category 3 hurricane would be for New Orleans. And no one knew at the time, but the Coast Guard’s response to Hurricane Katrina would turn out to be one of the largest search and rescue mission in the nation’s history.
Those familiar with Coast Guard history know that the Service’s development has been shaped in part by the nation’s response to natural and man-made disasters. Nowhere is that lesson clearer than the history of the Service’s search and rescue, or SAR, mission.
To say that the North Shore of Alaska is a remote place is an understatement. The North Shore borders the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea, two marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean. Even in the middle of July, the waters in the area are still icy with large ice flows in many areas. It is not hard to see that conducting search and rescue, one of the Coast Guard’s core missions in the area, presents unusual challenges.
The OAR-11 officer specialty code, or OSC, is available to those officers who demonstrate satisfactory performance and proficiency in aeronautical and maritime SAR planning and response coordination. This competency is fundamental to junior officers aspiring to a Response-Ashore career.
The SS Marine Electric sunk amidst a strong storm off the coast of Virginia on Feb. 12, 1983. Of the crew of 34, only three survived. In response to the sinking, the Coast Guard convened a marine board to investigate the causes surrounding the disaster. The resulting report was released 30 years ago this summer and would significantly alter the safety culture throughout the maritime community.
Last week the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld a restitution payment of nearly $500,000 as part of the sentence handed down in United States of America v. Danik Shiv Kumar for making a false distress call that caused a massive search on Lake Erie in March 2012.
Ireland has a coast guard with a more focused mission, search and rescue. Their singular-mission focus has helped foster improved maritime safety and the Commandant saw several examples during his visit with the Irish Coast Guard.
Quick reflexes and fast thinking were put to the test late on a late Friday afternoon when the Station Bodega Bay, Calif., duty crew sprinted into action at the sound of the search and rescue alarm. Fireman Jacob Smith, who been stationed at Bodega Bay for the past three years, was a crewman on the 47-foot motor lifeboat that launched when they received word of a fishing vessel that was taking on water with two people aboard.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Ouellette was fresh out of boot camp in July 2007 when he was assigned to Station Grays Harbor. He arrived at his first Coast Guard unit ready to learn. Fast forward to today and Ouellette has more than just learned; he has mastered. Ouellette has earned the title of Coast Guard surfman No. 473. Along with his title of surfman, he has also earned the unofficial title of “seaman to surfman” at Grays Harbor – meaning he arrived at the unit a seaman and will be leaving a surfman.