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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 21, 2021

Frontline Focus: Coast Guard rescues five from water offshore Freeport, Texas, and more. 

By Janki Patel, MyCG Writer

Coast Guard rescues five from water offshore Freeport, Texas. On Oct. 17, Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watchstanders received notification from Brazoria County 911 dispatchers that five adults aboard a sinking 20-foot pleasure craft were in distress near the mouth of the Brazos River. Their vessel started sinking one mile offshore. All five boaters were standing aboard their swamped vessel and wearing life jackets. The rescue boatcrew arrived on scene, pulled the five boaters from the water and dewatered the sunken vessel enough to put it in tow. The crew then towed the boat to Bridge Bait Marina in Freeport, Texas. No injuries were reported. “These boaters’ decision to proactively don life jackets assuredly contributed to the successful outcome of this case,” said Capt. Keith Donohue, search and rescue mission controller for the case. “Emergencies can strike without warning on the water, and it’s imperative that all boaters wear their life jackets at all times and pay attention to weather conditions while operating offshore.” Read more

Coast Guard, good Samaritan crew rescue three from fishing vessel taking on water near Cape Flattery, Wash. On Oct. 15, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound command center received a report that the 48-foot commercial fishing vessel Garda Marie began taking on water within the Olympic National Marine Sanctuary with three adults aboard. Sector Puget Sound issued an urgent marine information broadcast, diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast and crew and directed the launch of air and boatcrews from Coast Guard Station Neah Bay and Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles. "This case represented a successful, coordinated effort between multiple Coast Guard assets and civilian, good Samaritan intervention," said Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Polyak, command duty officer for Sector Puget Sound. "While the loss of the fishing vessel is unfortunate, given the dangerous conditions offshore, the quick response from all responding parties resulted in three lives saved." Read more.

Coast Guard medevacs man 80 miles off Montauk, New York. On Oct. 15, watchstanders from the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center received notification that a crewmember was very ill and experiencing diabetic-related health complications. The command center consulted with a U.S. Coast Guard flight surgeon who recommended medical evacuation. The 54-year-old man was transferred safely to awaiting EMS at Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod in stable condition. Read more.

Coast Guard rescues man from disabled vessel near Sitka, Alaska. On Oct. 12, Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted a man from his 33-foot sailing vessel, Ananda, and transported him to Yakutat, Alaska where they were met by local EMS. Watchstanders contacted the previous vessel owner who reported the new owner intended to leave his homeport in Seward, Alaska and travel to the Philippines with the possibility of going to Seattle beforehand. “This is a prime example of how having boating safety equipment, like an EPRIB, can save your life,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Dustin Lake, Seventeenth District operations unit watchstander. “It also shows why keeping your EPIRB registered with the correct information is crucial.” Read more

In mid-September, the Costa Rican national guard service (SNG), working with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Joint Interagency Task Force – South, located and escorted a suspicious commercial fishing vessel in their waters to a local pier. The SNG boarded the vessel, obtained reasonable suspicion, and conducted intrusive searches on various compartments throughout the vessel. The boarding resulted in the seizure of 1.5 tons of cocaine. The SNG credits their knowledge and training on these advanced processes and procedures to training, which they received from a Coast Guard advanced boarding officer course in August 2021.   
Mobile Training Branch is providing training and support to foreign coastal authorities in four geographic combatant commands, with teams in Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and the Dominican Republic. Operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and training deployments throughout the world had recently been limited to only a few countries, but as more countries re-open to foreign travelers and militaries, the Training Center (TRACEN) Yorktown’s Mobile Training Branch has returned to a near-normal operating schedule providing world class maritime security training.   
Coast Guard TRACEN Yorktown’s International Division two branches, which train international militaries and civilian authorities, are on the path to return to pre-pandemic operations, providing training, developing security cooperation relationships, and capacity- building with our international partners.