Browsing: Coast Guard

Cruising Life
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Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star, 42-years-old, Reaches Antarctica, but with Problems

The aging Cutter Polar Star, the Coast Guard’s only heavy icebreaker, just reached Antarctica, cutting through ice up to 31 feet deep, but it ran into some problems along the way. The 399-feet long, 42-year-old ship with a crew of 150, completed its mission, leading a support vessel with 400 containers to resupply McMurdo Station, the main U.S. logistics center in Antarctica. But the Polar Star developed a leak from the prop shaft, and it also experienced several electrical problems while in deep ice. The crew had to halt icebreaking operations to send a scuba diver in the water to repair…

Cruising Life
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Three Fishermen Killed When Boat Pitch-Poles Trying To Cross a Stormy Bar in Oregon

Three commercial fishermen on an old wooden 42-foot crabbing boat were killed when they tried to cross the Yaquina Bay Bar near Newport, Oregon, at night in breaking seas even as a Coast Guard motor lifeboat tried to lead them to safety. In a harrowing account, the Coast Guard said it tried to warn Stephen Biernacki, 50, the skipper of the Mary B II crabbing boat that he was drifting outside the channel, exposing it to 16-foot breakers. The Mary B II was among a group of crab boats that tried to cross the bar about 10 at night to escape a…

On Watch
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Coast Guard Families “Are Freaking Out” in Shutdown. “Bankruptcy Is a Last Option.”

The government shutdown is hitting the Coast Guard hard. In a week when the Coast Guard started its ice-breaking patrols on the Great Lakes, the 41,000 members of the Coast Guard are wondering whether they’ll get their next paycheck, scheduled for Jan. 15. Right now they’re working without pay. And they and their families are not happy. In Washington, the Coast Guard posted a five-page tipsheet on its website called “managing your finances during a furlough.” It suggested tutoring, “turning your hobby into income,” babysitting and holding garage sales. “Bankruptcy is a last option,” it said. The Coast Guard removed…

Cruising Life
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Fishing Trawler Sinks Off Block Island. Two Missing Despite Massive Search

A 52-foot fishing trawler capsized and sank just after midnight on New Year’s Day in 10-foot seas and 30-knot winds near Block Island, Rhode Island. A nearby fishing boat picked up one crew member but the other two were missing despite a massive search effort by the Coast Guard and local good Samaritan vessels. The Coast Guard suspended the search effort after two days. The first sign of trouble came at 1:30 a.m. when the captain of the Mistress, based in Point Judith, sent a Mayday call to the Coast Guard saying the boat was taking on water. It was…

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Hurricane Michael Wipes Out Panama City Yard Building New Coast Guard Cutters

Hurricane Michael destroyed more than homes, marinas and recreational boats in the Panama City, Florida, area. It also wiped out the family-owned shipyard that was just starting work on a $10 billion contract to build the Coast Guard’s new Offshore Patrol Cutters. The company had just started building the first hull. Here’s the full story from Breaking Defense: Amid the devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael last week is a family-owned shipyard the Coast Guard had just picked to work on the $10 billion Offshore Patrol Cutter program, the largest acquisition project in the service’s history. The Eastern Shipbuilding Group in…

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On Watch

Flag Flying Over Frying Pan Shoal Tower During Florence Becomes Popular Symbol of Resilience By Peter A. Janssen Here’s a story about how one tattered American flag, flying over a former Coast Guard lighthouse off the coast of North Carolina, became a symbol of resilience and renewal during storm Florence. The Frying Pan Shoals lighthouse was built in 1854, about 39 miles off Southport and 32 miles from Bald Head Island, at the southern end of the shoals there. So many boats had broken apart on the shoals that the area was named the Graveyard of the Atlantic. On a…

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Coast Guard Rescues a Dozen Beagles During Florence. See the Video

Amid all the terrible loss of life and destruction that Florence wreaked in the mid-Atlantic states, it was often hard to find many signs of hope. But in this great story and heart-warming video, USA Today reports how the Coast Guard rescued a couple and a boatload of their beagles that had been trapped in a trailer in rural North Carolina. Rescuing beagles, of course, is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of what the Coast Guard does during an emergency. Charging through inlets, yes; lifting people up from sinking boats into helicopters, yes. Rescuing a…

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Coast Guard Launches $225,000 Competition for Developing New PFDs

The Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard just launched the U.S. Coast Guard Ready for Rescue Challenge, a competition to develop easier ways to find people in the water, with $225,000 in prize money. The idea is to create new ways to find and rescue a man overboard. “Boater safety solutions that harness new designs and technologies can improve the chance of a successful rescue,” said William N. Bryan, from the DHS Directorate of Science and Technology. “New, innovative solutions are critical.” The competition starts with ideas for a new or updated life jacket or PFD, or an…

Cruising Life
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One American Killed, Several Others Seriously Injured, in Boat Explosion in the Bahamas

A tragic explosion and boat fire about 130 miles south of Nassau in the Bahamas left one American woman dead and nine others injured. The Royal Bahamas Police Force said one of the two outboard engines on the 40-foot tourist boat exploded, engulfing the boat in flames. The boat was carrying ten Americans and two Bahamians. The boat was off Barraterre Island in the Exuma Cays at the time. At least three people from a nearby boat jumped into the water to help; they were able to pull one person to safety. The explosion occurred after 9 in the morning.…

Cruising Life
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Bells Stolen from Buoys off Coast of Maine. Coast Guard Asks for Help in Finding Culprits

This is just bizarre. Over the past six months, somebody’s been stealing the brass bells from offshore buoys off the coast of Maine. The Coast Guard is not happy about this, and neither would you be if you were relying on the sound signals from the buoys to help you navigate in the fog or at night. “These thefts not only reduce the reliability of our aids to navigation system and put lives at risk, said Lt. Matthew Odom of the Coast Guard waterways management division, “but they also create a burden and expense to the taxpayer for the buoy…

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