Coast Guard Cutter Munro

Shipmate of the Week – BM3 Michael Valdes

In 1867 the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, predecessor service to the U.S. Coast Guard, transported the first federal officials to the territory of Alaska. From this modest beginning, cutters would eventually sail into the Arctic and the Bering Sea to protect the sea and those on it. Thus, “The Bering Sea Patrol” was born. Today, Coast Guard men and women continue to sail the Bering’s frigid waters, from the Akutan to the Pribilofs. It takes a certain type of sailor to perform operations in these waters; Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Valdes is one such Coast Guardsman.


Through the ice

A day on the Bering: Nothing ‘routine’ about it

Forty miles southwest of the Pribilof Islands, Coast Guard Cutter Munro navigated shifting ice fields to close on the Bering Sea’s largest fishing fleet. Arctic winds whipped through the bridge’s opened door at sunrise while crewmembers cleaved ice on the forecastle and engineers looked over the ready boat to make sure its systems wouldn’t freeze up. These frozen conditions don’t sound ideal for most people. Then again, most people aren’t crewmembers aboard Munro.