Buffalo marine inspector

Lessons from 30-year old disaster still saving lives today

The SS Marine Electric sunk amidst a strong storm off the coast of Virginia on Feb. 12, 1983. Of the crew of 34, only three survived. In response to the sinking, the Coast Guard convened a marine board to investigate the causes surrounding the disaster. The resulting report was released 30 years ago this summer and would significantly alter the safety culture throughout the maritime community.

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.

Sailor Saved, video of the year competition. U.S. Coast Guard image.

2013 Videos of the Year: Sailor Saved

We are at the half-way point for our videos, and today’s video takes in the middle of a rescue as Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Watson, an Air Station Elizabeth City rescue swimmer, battles the sea to rescue a sailor […]


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.

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.


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.

HMS Bounty featured image

2012 Videos of the Year: HMS Bounty rescue

We’ve reached our 10th video nominee in our search for the 2012 Video of the Year. In our final video, Rescue swimmer Daniel Todd tells us about the daring rescue of 14 sailors from the HMS Bounty during Hurricane Sandy […]

I train so others may live

2012 Videos of the Year: I train so others may live

Our fourth video finalist highlights the dedication and hard work of Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaime Vanacore, a rescue swimmer out of Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, as she shows us a morning routine of a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. Vanacore, along with Coast Guard men and women across America, train everyday, “so others may live.”


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.

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