Honor our Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn Shipmates with proficiency

Thirty-four years ago today, the Coast Guard suffered our worst peacetime loss when the Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn collided with a tanker, capsized and sank at night in Tampa Bay, Fla. Twenty-three Coast Guardsmen perished in the tragedy. This morning we will observe the manners of our profession by honoring these fallen shipmates at the Blackthorn Memorial in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Smart, brave and dedicated: honoring the fallen of Coast Guard Cutter Cuyahoga

On a cool October afternoon in 1978, Coast Guard Cutter Cuyahoga sailed peacefully at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The cutter hosted a company of eager officer candidates underway for a training cruise. It would prove to be Cuyahoga’s last voyage. While underway on Oct. 20, 1978, the Cuyahoga was struck by a 521-foot coal freighter. The impact was devastating and the Cuyahoga sank within minutes. Eleven men lost their lives.