The shipwreck that changed the Coast Guard forever

Throughout Coast Guard history, the missions of the service have been written in blood. Such was the case with the loss of the 605-foot cargo ship Marine Electric. Marine Electric had passed several marine inspections, including those done by the U.S. Coast Guard, with several discrepancies not noted or recommended. In heavy weather, the ship couldn’t hold up to the crashing waves, flooded and capsized killing 31 of 34 crewmen in the cold Atlantic waters on Feb. 12, 1983. This fatal shipwreck resulted in a revamp of the Coast Guard’s marine safety procedures and establishment of the rescue swimmer program.

The Long Blue Line: Domenic Calicchio – Champion of marine safety regulations

Domenic A. Calicchio was one of the U.S. Coast Guard’s many unsung heroes whose career embodied the Service’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty. The Coast Guard’s Inspections & Investigation School named the Calicchio Award for him due to the significant impact he had on the U.S. marine industry and the Coast Guard as a senior marine casualty investigator.

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.