Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, April 21, 2010. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors April 21. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon's 126 person crew. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Long Blue Line: local enforcer to global responder—nearly 230 years of Coast Guard evolution!

In 1790, Alexander Hamilton established a small fleet of coastal law enforcement vessels to patrol off East Coast seaports. Over the next 228 years, the service experienced rapid growth in its geographic area of responsibility, mandated missions, and organization through mergers with other maritime services, reorganizations, and transfers from one federal agency to another. These frequent changes demanded remarkable flexibility and resourcefulness of the Coast Guard. The service has lived-up to its motto Semper Paratus by adapting and evolving to meet the nation’s changing needs emerging as a global responder known and respected at home and abroad.


U.S. Coast Guard photograph by Petty Officer 1st Class Seth Johnson

Hoax calls affect us all

Hoax calls happen all too frequently and not only impact the responders and community, but also waste time, money and resources at the taxpayers’ expense. Hoax calls are a Class D felony and incur substantial prison time and fines.


A red handheld flare, the minimum pyrotechnic for which the project investigated alternatives. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Spotlight: Alternatives to pyrotechnic distress signals

Distress flares are vital to boating safety, but pyrotechnic flares can pose a safety hazard to people not trained in their use. In addition, expired flares can create environmental hazards through leaching chemicals when disposed of in landfills or at sea. As an alternative, the Coast Guard has been researching the suitability of light emitting diode (LED) devices as effective distress signals through its Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program.


Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Minnes and his father, both New Jersey state troopers pose for a photo together. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Minnes.

Off-duty trooper and reservist improvises rescue

A Coast Guard Reserve petty officer was hailed as a hero in early March after saving an accident victim on the Atlantic City Expressway in Gloucester Township, New Jersey. Minnes, a New Jersey state trooper, pulled a man to safety and provided emergency medical assistance to save the man’s life earning him the gratitude of survivor, the governor of New Jersey and the Winslow Fire Department.


Cutter Escanaba breaks ice early in its career on the Great Lakes. U.S. Coast Guard Collection.

The Long Blue Line: 75 years ago – Escanaba rescues hundreds then perishes

Following a U-boat attack of the passenger steamer Cherokee, Lt. Robert “Bob” Prause, Jr., developed a cold-water rescue system of tethered rescue swimmers equipped with rubber exposure suits. These came in handy later when the U.S. Army Transport Dorchester was hit by a torpedo in icy waters between Newfoundland and Greenland in 1943. Prause’s system was one of the Coast Guard’s first successful cold-water rescue methods.


Coast Guard Academy mechanical engineering cadets test out their rescue basket design at a local simulator facility, April 18, 2018. They have been prototyping a new and improved rescue basket, which could revolutionize the way the Coast Guard conducts search-and-rescue missions aboard the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Foguth.

Raising the bar in a single hoist

Coast Guard Academy mechanical engineering cadets have been prototyping a new and improved rescue basket, which could revolutionize the way the Coast Guard conducts search-and-rescue missions aboard the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters. The new design, which is roomy enough for two individuals to comfortably sit in the basket, allows Coast Guard operators to shave off precious time during mass rescue situations.


Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashlee Leppert, an avionics electrical technician from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, takes a moment to reflect during ongoing missions in Houston while deployed for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: AET2 Ashlee Leppert

When Hurricane Harvey made landfall in August 2017, Petty Officer 2nd Class Ashlee Leppert was one of the first aircrew members to deploy amidst raging winds and rising floodwaters. For her rescue efforts, President Donald Trump recognized Leppert and the hundreds of other Coast Guard members who responded to the hurricane at his 2018 State of the Union address.


Coast Guard Cutter Bear conducts sea trials after completing construction. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter Bear celebrates 35 years of service

In its 35 years of service, Coast Guard Cutter Bear and its crews have valiantly service the nation providing humanitarian aid, drug and immigration enforcement, and search and rescue. Through it all, Bear’s most defining achievement is sharing the knowledge that there is no stronger bond than that shared by the crew. Bear crews define themselves as “first in fleet, and second to none.”


Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick

Less than a year has passed since the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick took to the sea and traveled 6,200 miles from Key West, Florida, to its homeport of Ketchikan, Alaska. Despite the long trip and drastic change of climate, the crew’s performance remained intact. This resilience was recognized by the Douglas Munro Chapter of the Surface Navy Association that awarded the crew of the cutter John McCormick with the 2017 Hopley Yeaton Cutter Excellence Award (small cutter).


The crew of Coast Guard Cutter James pose for a group photo after a drug bust in the Eastern Pacific. U.S Coast Guard photo.

Honor, Respect, Devotion to Duty: Coast Guard Cutter James

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter James is the recipient of the Capt. Hopley Yeaton Outstanding Cutter Award for their unbreakable resilience in not only breathing life into the steel of the ship, but by building James into one of the Coast Guard’s greatest assets in counter-narcotic operations. In only two patrols, James and its crew interdicted 22 drug smuggling vessels, seized 16,815 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated value of $560 million, and apprehended 70 suspected narcotics traffickers.


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