Seaman Derrian Duryea swims through the water

Chasing a dream

Listening to the helicopter’s rotor blades slice through the night sky while watching his feet dangle above the turbulent water, the words “never quit,” repeated over and over in his head. Never quit – words Seaman Derrian Duryea repeated to himself before high school swim meets and now words he lives by as a Coast Guardsman.

red flare

New year, new filter: AST1 Ian Powell

The Coast Guard continues our #NewYearNewFilter and the launch of our official Instagram account with a new perspective this week! We’ve asked Coast Guard members from around the fleet to be guest Instagrammers and in the past two weeks you’ve seen perspectives from Seaman Frank Iannazzo-Simmons at Patrol Forces Southwest Asia and Chief Warrant Officer Donnie Brzuska at Training Center Cape May. This week, Petty Officer 1st Class Ian Powell will use Instagram to share his unique perspectives in what it takes to be a Coast Guard rescue swimmer.


Do you have what it takes?

To prepare for whatever may come their way, rescue swimmers, or aviation survival technicians, train at the Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City, N.C., the Coast Guard’s technical training provider for enlisted aviation forces. Take a look at this training exercise where rescue swimmers use what they learn from day one in a simulated emergency.

Training flight

Living your creed

A call came in from cruise ship, 150 miles east of Cape Lookout, N.C. A 50-year-old man suffered a heart attack and needed to get to a hospital. It was operations normal for most; another chance to save a life. However, for one junior petty officer, this case was far from the norm. He would be setting out on his first rescue since earning his spot as the Coast Guard rescue swimmer No. 830.

Chief Petty Officer Karen Voorhees

First female rescue swimmer promoted to chief petty officer

Chief Petty Officer Karen Voorhees is the first woman to advance to chief petty officer in the rate of aviation survival technician since women were integrated into Coast Guard active duty service in 1973.

Shallow water rescue Featured Image

Getting people out of bad situations

This story originally appeared at Coast Guard Pacific Southwest and was written by Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas McKenzie and Petty Officer 1st Class Rachel Polish. It began with a 911 call from someone stranded aboard a 17-foot recreation boat […]


Don’t get carried away

Winter is a particularly dangerous time to be on the beaches of Northern California. Tragically, every year, people and their pets fall victim to sneaker waves. A sneaker wave is a large wave in a series of coastal waves. They frequently catch beachgoers, dog walkers and dogs off guard and wash them out to sea.


Shipmate of the Week – CWO Randall Rice

Two sailors were in for the trip of their lives as they set out sailing from Florida to Greece in May 2011. But the trip of their lives didn’t end in Greece, it ended in the shelter of a Coast Guard helicopter’s cabin. The 45-foot sailing vessel Eva was 150 nautical miles southeast of Cape Cod and had hit a nasty storm early into their journey. Water was streaming in and the vessel’s pumps could not keep up. The pounding winds had ripped the mast off the vessel and shattered its windows. There was no doubt; these sailors were in trouble.

Cliff rescue

Got questions? These rescue swimmers have answers.

We asked our Facebook fans if they could ask a rescue swimmer anything, what would it be? And with more than 200 questions asked, it was clear you were all eager to hear more about the men and women who make up the aviation survival technician rate – more often called rescue swimmers. We picked the top five most “liked” questions and asked two swimmers from the 13th Coast Guard District to help answer them.

Petty Officer McArthur

Shipmate of the Week – AST3 Thomas McArthur

UPDATE: As a Dunwoody, Ga., native Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas McArthur was a guest on MyFOX Atlanta Nov. 3. Click to watch his interview. It was a beautiful summer day along Frankfort Beach, Mich., with sun-drenched sands and blue […]

Next Page »