Petty Officer 1st Class Krystyna Duffy pursued her dream to become a Coast Guard surfman her entire career. Duffy had to rely on her network and community of people who care and were willing to stand for her to help her achieve her dream. She is now the fourth active female surfman in the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard recently released the names of the newest Fast Response Cutters to be commissioned. Each FRC is named after a Coast Guard hero. One such Coast Guardsman is Maurice Jester, a WWII hero.
Atop the dunes, Petty Officer 1st Class Louis Keating Jr. realized what was about to happen and was handed a historic surf check – a brass tag surfman would carry during their beach patrols. He was then told to head north to complete a beach patrol walking in the footsteps of the heroes who came before him from the historic Pea Island Lifesaving Station.
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.
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.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Victoria Taylor, a boatswain’s mate from Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay, was recently designated a Coast Guard surfman, the highest qualification a coxswain can achieve in the Coast Guard. Receiving the surfman designation puts Taylor in an elite group; she’s the Coast Guard’s 484th surfman, one of only six females to ever receive the designation in Coast Guard history and the very first from Station Humboldt Bay.
Station Umpqua River is home to a crew of dedicated Coast Guardsmen, sentinels to the abundance of recreational and commercial fisherman in the region. The station is remote, isolated and bears witness to some of the worst water there is. It’s also home to Chief Petty Officer Benjamin Snider, an extraordinarily skilled surfman.
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.
Saying Aloha to the Pacific’s heavy seas, National Motor Lifeboat School’s instructors just finished two weeks of intensive search and rescue training off the coast of Hawaii. Lifesavers from throughout the Pacific gathered at Station Honolulu for a series of unique skill enhancement evolutions.
Chatham is the only unit to operate the 42-foot Special Purpose Craft – Near Shore Lifeboat. The lifeboat was specifically designed for operating in shallow water, such as the conditions found on the Chatham bar where there are depths as shallow as four feet. The lifeboat is equipped with state-of-the-art wireless control systems and twin jet-drives. As a highly unique craft, the lifeboat requires a skilled operator at the helm, and no one is better at the helm than Chief Petty Officer William Lefever.