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Old 11-21-2002, 07:22 AM
JeffL JeffL is offline
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This is from today's edition of the Chicago Tribune. I'm posting it because the Coast Guard rarely gets media coverage, and even more rarely gets positive media coverage. Please note that it is copyrighted.

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Coast Guard protects us from ourselves
By Mike Conklin
Tribune staff reporter

November 21, 2002

With homeland security a concern ever since 9/11, the U.S. Coast Guard is one agency that finds itself on constant alert against terrorism. Protecting our waterways, an obvious path for aggressors, is a top priority.

On the other hand, how does the U.S. Coast Guard protect us from ourselves? Here is a verbatim sampling of calls answered and logged in the Great Lakes District this summer and fall:

July 5

SEARCH AND RESCUE: PERSON IN THE WATER -- TOLEDO, OHIO.

Station Toledo safely recovered person from the water in the vicinity of Toledo Beach after 51-year-old male fell from his sailboat. At 3:50 p.m. EDT, Group Detroit was notified of person in water and Air Station Detroit and two boats from Station Toledo were dispatched. The man fell off the sailboat (no lifejacket) and his wife was left on the boat with no knowledge of how to operate a sailboat.

Aug. 6

SEARCH AND RESCUE: PERSON IN THE WATER -- CHICAGO LAKEFRONT, ILL.

The Chicago police department observes adult white male jumping naked into Lake Michigan. At 1:46 a.m., District Nine notified and Chicago marine units and Fire Department helicopters assist with search. Man unlocated.

Aug. 9

SEARCH AND RESCUE: 24-FOOT BAHA PLEASURE CRAFT ACCIDENT (TWO PEOPLE IN THE WATER -- ONE PROBABLE LOSS OF LIFE) -- NEW BUFFALO, MICH.

Multi-unit search for missing 44-year-old male continues following single-vessel accident resulting in two passengers being ejected from vessel at high rate of speed. Group Grand Haven was notified by eyewitness on the water of a 24-foot BAHA which made a sharp turn very fast. Two of the passengers were seen entering water, third was knocked around inside the boat. A jet ski in the area recovered one of the persons from the water and returned him to the boat. The second person in the water remains unlocated. He was not wearing life jacket. The boat sustained substantial damage including removal of steering wheel, serious damage to throttles, and 6-foot-wide hole in the gunnel left by the operator upon being thrown from vessel. Two survivors were transported to EMS. Berrien Co. Sheriff's Dept. has been in contact with the next of kin.

Aug. 22

MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: MEDIUM DIESEL SPILL -- CHICAGO SANITARY SHIP CHANNEL

Unified Command has been established to coordinate efforts to contain and mitigate an estimated 1000-gallon spill of #6 grade Fuel Oil (unconfirmed) between the 290 to 316 mile markers in Chicago Sanitary Ship Channel. At 9 a.m. Marine Safety Office Chicago was notified of large sheen by the Water Reclamation District. MSO Chicago, Environmental Protection Agency Region-5 and Clean Harbors representatives responded to the scene to conduct preliminary assessment. Federal On-scene Commander remains with the United States Coast Guard until a responsible party is identified, at which time duties will be transferred to the EPA.

Aug. 28

SEARCH AND RESCUE: TWO PEOPLE IN WATER -- WEST OF SOUTH BASS ISLAND, LAKE ERIE

Station Marblehead responded to report of two people in the water floating in vicinity of a vessel adrift just off South Bass Island, approximately 100 yards from shore. Motor vessel Harbor Queen recovered both individuals prior to rescue boat arrival. Individuals were transferred to rescue boat and immediately received treatment for mild hypothermia. When rescuers boarded vessel, they learned vessel operator, along with her 3-year-old son jumped into water for quick swim. He had lifejacket, she didn't. Vessel was not anchored and began to drift away.

Sept. 13

ILLINOIS RIVER CLOSURE, DRESDEN LOCK & DAM UNITS

A barge hauling pig iron could not lock through because it had taken on water and was too deep to cross the sill. Traffic was stopped until the cracks in the hull could be patched.

Sept. 19

SEARCH AND RESCUE: MEDEVAC -- LAKE ST. CLAIR, MICH. UNITS

A 51-year-old crewman medically evacuated from lake carrier motor vessel Calumet Harbor after sustaining serious thumb injury. Subject had been working on lathe when material he was milling slipped and amputated his thumb. A Station Belle Isle rescue crew diverted to respond, removed the crewman, and transported him to the station. Due to the unavailability of EMS, he was further transported to St. John's Riverside Hospital for treatment.

Sept. 19

SEARCH AND RESCUE: OVERDUE -- 16-FOOT BASS BOAT FROM TURTLE ISLAND, OHIO. WESTERN LAKE ERIE

Station Toledo received a call from a wife stating husband had gone out fishing at 6 p.m. eastern time and was to return at 10 p.m. An urgent marine information broadcast was issued and Station Toledo launched rescue boat. Just prior to arriving on scene, Coast Guard coxswain noticed a handheld flare in vicinity of Turtle Island. The rescue boat had it confirmed this was person reported overdue. They evacuated the owner/operator and his dog from Turtle Island. While en route back to launch ramp, the rescue crew came across a good samaritan vessel with rescued man's wife onboard, disabled and adrift. Coast Guard rescue boat took them in tow back to the launch ramp.


Copyright ? 2002, Chicago Tribune

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Jeff
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2002, 08:16 AM
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Stick Stick is offline
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Thanks Jeff for the post. It's good to see the Coast Guard written up and appreciated in the press. They are a group often overlooked but essential to the USA.
After reading the article though you just gotta wonder how stupid some people are and thank God for the USCG.
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