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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Dec. 16, 2021

Frontline Focus: Coast Guard medevacs man suffering from heart attack symptoms, Portsmouth, Virginia and more. 

By Janki Patel, MyCG Writer

A Coast Guard aircrew hoisted 4 fishermen from a disabled fishing vessel off the coast of Duck, NC. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina received a call from the captain of the fishing vessel, Bald Eagle II, stating that his vessel was disabled and drifting towards shore, Dec. 7. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City sent a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew and Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet sent a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew to assist. Once on the scene, the aircrew hoisted all four men and transported them to the air station without a report of injuries. "The water temperature near Southern Shores is currently 56 degrees, which is dangerous had these four men not been prepared," said Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Hall, operations unit controller for Sector North Carolina. "Fortunately, these men were wearing survival suits to prevent hypothermia when our rescue helicopter arrived.” Read more.

Coast Guard rushed to a car near the edge of Niagara Falls.  The blades of a Coast Guard helicopter’s  were already whirring before takeoff for a training flight in Detroit, when they received a call about a car near the edge of Niagara Falls, Dec. 8. This drastically changed their plans and they switched direction, rushing to the 180-foot falls. The car had become nearly submerged in the Niagara River on the New York side with a woman in her 60’s inside. She was pronounced dead after one rescuer was hoisted down 80 feet from the helicopter with a cable to pull her out from the icy rapids. “It’s not something we do on a daily basis. It’s nothing we train for,” Lt. Chris Monacelli, aircraft commander and helicopter pilot, told McClatchy News during a phone interview. Read more.

Coast Guard buoy tender departs Bay Area for last time as San Francisco-based cutter. On Dec. 6, Coast Guard Cutter Aspen and crew departed the Bay Area for the last time as a San Francisco-based cutter and are en route to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore to under-go major maintenance and overhaul. This marks the end of two decades of service along the California coastline for the Aspen as one of 16 of the nation’s Juniper class sea-going buoy tenders. The 225-foot ship and its 48-person crew have been stationed at Yerba Buena Island since Sep. 28, 2001. The crew is slated to travel approximately 6,000 miles over the course of 40 days and pass from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Panama Canal. The Coast Guard Cutter Alder formerly homeported in Duluth, Minn., is slated to be brought back into service in summer of 2022 by the former Aspen crew and re-homeported in San Francisco. The Aspen’s planned final destination will be Homer, Alaska in early 2023. The Cutter Aspen is scheduled to undergo a $20 million, 12-month major maintenance availability (MMA) overhaul. “It has been a privilege to serve along California’s rugged, oftentimes austere coastline; the beauty is without parallel, and the Pacific Ocean’s winds, current, fog, and constant swells offshore continue to mold us as the stern teachers they are,” said Lt. Cmdr. Paul Ledbetter, the Aspen's commanding officer. “We look forward to continuing to serve this great country when we return to San Francisco aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Alder next year.” Read more.