The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable underway in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on patrol. The Cutter Dependable's crew returned to their homeport, Virginia Beach, Va., after a two-month patrol of the Eastern Pacific Ocean May 4, 2017. During this patrol, the crew seized over 8,000 pounds of cocaine with an estimated value of $122 million which will be used as evidence to prosecute 19 suspected smugglers. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Dependable.

The Long Blue Line: Cutter Dependable—50 Years of “Credibility Built on Excellence”

Today marks the golden anniversary of the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable’s service in the Coast Guard. Over its distinguished 50 years of service, the cutter and its crews have earned countless honors and awards for law enforcement, living marine resources, search and rescue and humanitarian missions they have conducted.


A Veterans Day rescue and remembrance

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy honors Academy graduates who are considered service heroes. This year, the Academy inducted Lt. Mark Feldman into the Wall of Gallantry for saving the lives of two plane crash survivors near Detroit on Veterans Day in 1986.


The Long Blue Line: “Siempre Preparado” – operations of Revenue Cutter Algonquin

Revenue Cutter Algonquin, commissioned in 1898, was a re-assuring sight on San Juan’s waterfront for 13 years. It was known as “Siempre Preparado” for always being ready to resond to the needs of Puerto Rico and its citizens. The cutter and its crew participated in several medical and humanitarian missions, transported local dignitaries and government officials and fought fires along the harbor. Algonquin was later reassigned to Oregon, to the Navy during WWI and later to Alaska, never returning to the Caribbean but always “Siempre Preparados.”


Photograph of the U.S. Life-Saving Service crew at Neah Bay, Washington Territory. The crew members were predominantly Makah Tribe members. U.S. Coast Guard Collection.

The Long Blue Line: Native Americans – one of the longest serving minorities in the Coast Guard

Native Americans from a variety of tribal nations have participated in the Coast Guard and its predecessor services since the beginning of the 19th century, representing the second earliest minority group to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard. Like all other service members, they walk the long blue line and their efforts have benefitted all who serve in the U.S. military, federal government, and the nation as a whole.


A 1945 photograph of Cuyahoga in World War II haze gray paint scheme. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: Cuyahoga – gone for 40 years, not forgotten

Coast Guard Cutter Cuyahoga began its career enforcing Prohibition laws and interdicting offshore liquor smugglers in 1926. It career ended as an Officer Candidate School teaching platform after a collision with a 521-foot bulk carrier in Chesapeake Bay in 1978. The Coast Guard will be honoring its fallen shipmates in ceremonies at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, and at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown, Virginia, Oct. 19-20, 2018 – 40 years after its sinking.


A rigid-hull inflatable small boat from the Coast Guard buoy tender Abbie Burgess speeds out to the site of the survey project. (Courtesy of Mr. Brian R. McMahon)

The Long Blue Line: Minots Ledge Lighthouse – the deadly “Lover’s Light”

On April 17, 1851, the newly constructed lighthouse at Minots Ledge collapsed into the sea surrounding the ledge killing both its lighthouse keepers. Located off the Massachusetts coast south of Boston, the failure of this state-of-the-art lighthouse had been in the making for years. The lighthouse was rebuilt and has withstood every subsequent gale, but the two keepers lost will remain an important chapter in the Coast Guard’s long blue line.


Crew members aboard Coast Guard Cutter Legare honor Signalman First Class Douglas Munro in a ceremony, Sept. 27, 2018. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Crew of Coast Guard Cutter Legare honors a hero

In the North Atlantic Ocean with sea spray crashing over the bow, and taps playing over a ship’s sound system, the crew of the Legare gathered Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, to honor the 76th anniversary of Signalman First Class Douglas Munro’s courageous sacrifice.


Petty Officer 3rd Class Donald Molony assists two survivors from the Empire State Building in New York City after an accidental allusion with a B-52 bomber aircraft. Courtesy photo.

Unsung Coast Guard hero’s daring Empire State Building rescue

Few people today know that on July 28, 1945, a large aircraft crashed into the Empire State Building. Fewer still know that the accident produced the world record for surviving an elevator fall and that the fall’s victim was rescued by a United States Coast Guardsman.


Melvin Bell after his second retirement in 2004. Bell dedicated 66 years of federal service in the military and civil service. Photo courtesy of the Bell family.

The Long Blue Line: Master Chief Petty Officer Melvin Kealoha Bell – minority pioneer, Pacific War hero

On Sept. 9, 2018, Master Chief Melvin Kealoha Bell, retired, crossed the bar at the age of 98. He was a patriot whose distinguished career in service of his country spanned 65 years. During his active-duty career, Bell held many distinctions such as being the first minority master chief petty officer in the Coast Guard and the first master chief in the electronics technician rating. His life, career and work embody the service’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.


U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Abbie Burgess sails past the Owl’s Head Lighthouse near Rockland, Maine. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Coast Guard Auxiliarist Bob Trapani.

U.S. Coast Guard ATON personnel honor lighthouse keepers

Crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Abbie Burgess (WLM-553) and Aids to Navigation Team (ANT) Southwest Harbor, Maine, placed flowers and national ensigns at the gravesites of Abbie Burgess and Isaac Grant, two renowned lighthouse keepers, during a visit to Thomaston, Maine, in August. Burgess was best known for keeping the Matinicus Light shining and later the Whitehead Lighthouse with her husband Grant.


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