All across the United States, there are beaches notorious for strong rip currents and other hazardous swimming conditions. Down in central Texas, one place in particular provides a constant and dangerous challenge for the area rescue services – San Luis Pass. Coast Guard crews from Air Station Houston recently conducted rescue training in the area to acclimate themselves to the treacherous conditions presented by San Luis Pass and to bring public awareness to the hazards of the area. For the crews, it was an eye-opening experience.
Paws down, snout up and ready for landing; Bert, an explosive detection dog from Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team Galveston, and his handler, Petty Officer 2nd Class Chandler Nuttal, approached the deck of the training boat. They hovered over it, almost effortlessly, along with a whirlwind of freezing-cold saltwater. The confidence of Nuttal and his fury friend Bert, a 5-year-old German shepherd was evident as they were lowered more than 30 feet out of a Houston-based Coast Guard rescue helicopter to the deck of the boat.
This week is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week and is a perfect time to reflect on how ready you and your loved ones are for the unexpected.
For 40 consecutive years Lois Bouton has written letters to Coast Guard men and women, earning her the nickname the Coast Guard Lady. Bouton, a native of Lake County, Ill., and current resident of Rogers, Ark., reported to boot camp Sept. 3, 1943 at the Biltmore Hotel in Palm Springs, Fla. After a month of basic training, she then spent five months in radioman school in Atlantic City, N.J., where she learned to translate Morse code.
As Hurricane Isaac inched towards the Gulf Coast in August 2012, Petty Officer 2nd Class James Hockenberry was assigned to an aircrew tasked with relocating a Coast Guard helicopter outside of the storm’s path. Left behind were his wife and two boys. A flight mechanic at Air Station Orleans, Hockenberry’s duty to respond doesn’t stop when there is a storm on its way and he ensures his family is prepared well in advance of the storm first and foremost.
She was a leader. She was a trailblazer. She was a lifesaver. She’s the namesake of the Coast Guard’s newest cutter – Margaret “Madge” Norvell. The Coast Guard welcomed their newest fast response cutter to the fleet this weekend as Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell was commissioned in New Orleans. The cutter is the first in its class to be named after a Coast Guard heroine.
It was an exciting day at the Airman Leadership School. After five weeks of developing leadership aptitude and building effective communication skills, the future enlisted leaders of the U.S. Air Force gathered for graduation day. As awards and speeches were given, the graduates recited a creed unusual for an Air Force ceremony – the Creed of the United States Coast Guardsman. Amongst the graduating students and representing the Coast Guard along with many of our nation’s finest young leaders from the Air Force was Petty Officer 3rd Class Jessica Evans.
The rise and fall of river water levels is a constant, impacted by flooding and drought. It’s something those who work on or around the river contend with on a regular basis. This year, rivers throughout the Midwest region are experiencing record low water levels and natural relief through the winter may be minimal. As water levels drop, the channels in which ships and barges travel shrink in width and depth, creating difficulties for shipping commerce. The U.S. Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and shipping industries are working together to adapt to the pressure of keeping the Mississippi River open for commerce and the public.
Whether high or low water, the Chippewa and its crew ensure aids vital to the maritime community are on station and watching properly. No matter what Mother Nature has in her playbook, the crew will be underway and at the ready.
As Hurricane Isaac made landfall on the eve of the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, local, state and federal responders were at the ready to provide aid and assistance to Gulf Coast communities. Over the past two days, the Coast Guard has rescued 17 people and two pets by helicopter in the greater New Orleans area.