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Updated: 2 hours 48 min ago

Imagery available: Coast Guard seeking public’s help locating owner of kayak found near Maunalua Bay, Oahu

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 14:02

  

Courtesy photos.

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard is seeking the public's help identifying the owner of an unmanned, adrift kayak found in Maunalua Bay, Oahu, Sunday.

The blue tandem kayak, labeled Cobra Tandem, was found approximately one mile offshore Aina Haina. 

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification from a good Samaritan stating they found the kayak unmanned and adrift at approximately 1130 a.m. today. 

There are currently no reported signs of distress or missing persons in the area.

Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to search for possible people in the water.

"The Coast Guard strongly encourages owners to label their gear with a name and contact information. Also, if the gear is lost, report it to the Coast Guard with a good description so that we can eliminate any unnecessary searches," said Charles Turner, command duty officer, Sector Honolulu command center.

The Coast Guard offers free "If Found" decals to be placed in a visible location on human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program. The information on the sticker allows response entities to quickly identify the vessel's owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

Imagery available: Coast Guard seeking public’s help locating owner of kayak found near Maunalua Bay, Oahu

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 14:02

  

Courtesy photos.

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard is seeking the public's help identifying the owner of an unmanned, adrift kayak found in Maunalua Bay, Oahu, Sunday.

The blue tandem kayak, labeled Cobra Tandem, was found approximately one mile offshore Aina Haina. 

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification from a good Samaritan stating they found the kayak unmanned and adrift at approximately 1130 a.m. today. 

There are currently no reported signs of distress or missing persons in the area.

Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to search for possible people in the water.

"The Coast Guard strongly encourages owners to label their gear with a name and contact information. Also, if the gear is lost, report it to the Coast Guard with a good description so that we can eliminate any unnecessary searches," said Charles Turner, command duty officer, Sector Honolulu command center.

The Coast Guard offers free "If Found" decals to be placed in a visible location on human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program. The information on the sticker allows response entities to quickly identify the vessel's owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

Feature Release: What’s the frequency, Shuey?

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 07:33
3rd generation Coast Guardsman keeps Mid-Atlantic communications afloat

Coast Guard rescues man, 3 children from sinking boat off Galveston

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 01:00

HOUSTON — A Coast Guard boat crew rescued a man and his three children Sunday morning, after their boat began to sink in the Galveston Fairway Anchorage, 10 miles southeast of the Galveston jetties.

The man called 911 at 1:50 a.m., who patched him into the Coast Guard. He reported to Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders that he was fishing when his boat became disabled and it was sinking with he and his three children aboard. The names are not yet known, but the ages of the man's children were reported as 22, 15 and 14 years old.

The watchstanders immediately dispatched an Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and Station Galveston boat crew, who arrived on scene at the same time, about an hour after the initial call. The rescue boat crew recovered the four individuals and determined the boat could be safely towed to shore.

The rescue boat should arrive at the Galveston Yacht Basin at about 4:45 a.m.

Coast Guard rescues man, 3 children from sinking boat off Galveston

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 01:00

HOUSTON — A Coast Guard boat crew rescued a man and his three children Sunday morning, after their boat began to sink in the Galveston Fairway Anchorage, 10 miles southeast of the Galveston jetties.

The man called 911 at 1:50 a.m., who patched him into the Coast Guard. He reported to Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders that he was fishing when his boat became disabled and it was sinking with he and his three children aboard. The names are not yet known, but the ages of the man's children were reported as 22, 15 and 14 years old.

The watchstanders immediately dispatched an Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and Station Galveston boat crew, who arrived on scene at the same time, about an hour after the initial call. The rescue boat crew recovered the four individuals and determined the boat could be safely towed to shore.

The rescue boat should arrive at the Galveston Yacht Basin at about 4:45 a.m.

Update: Coast Guard, Maui Fire Department end search for missing fisherman near Pokowai Sea Arch, Maui

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 18:55

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Maui Fire Department ended their search, Saturday, for a missing fisherman near the Pokowai Sea Arch, Maui.

After being located by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Maui recovered the man unresponsive at 9:22 a.m. approximately one mile from Pokowai Sea Arch. He was then transported to shore where he was declared deceased by awaiting medical personnel.

On-scene Coast Guard assets conducted a total of 3 searches covering 41 square miles prior to locating the man.

Involved in the search were: 

  • An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
  • A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew
  • The crew of USCGC Ahi (WPB 87364)
  • Ground crews and a rescue boat with divers from Maui Fire Department

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification at 2 a.m., from Maui Fire, of a 49-year-old man who fell off the sea arch and was last seen floating on his back.

The Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast requesting the assistance of mariners in the area to keep a sharp look out and report any sightings to command center watch standers at ‪808-842-2600.

Update: Coast Guard, Maui Fire Department end search for missing fisherman near Pokowai Sea Arch, Maui

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 18:55

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Maui Fire Department ended their search, Saturday, for a missing fisherman near the Pokowai Sea Arch, Maui.

After being located by a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Maui recovered the man unresponsive at 9:22 a.m. approximately one mile from Pokowai Sea Arch. He was then transported to shore where he was declared deceased by awaiting medical personnel.

On-scene Coast Guard assets conducted a total of 3 searches covering 41 square miles prior to locating the man.

Involved in the search were: 

  • An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
  • A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew
  • The crew of USCGC Ahi (WPB 87364)
  • Ground crews and a rescue boat with divers from Maui Fire Department

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification at 2 a.m., from Maui Fire, of a 49-year-old man who fell off the sea arch and was last seen floating on his back.

The Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast requesting the assistance of mariners in the area to keep a sharp look out and report any sightings to command center watch standers at ‪808-842-2600.

MULTIMEDIA RELEASE: Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, local law enforcement partner for Gasparilla Safety

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 16:15

  

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TAMPA, Fla. — Crews from the Coast GuardCoast Guard Auxiliary and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission worked with local law enforcement agencies Saturday to keep waterways safe during the 2017 Gasparilla Parade and Pirate Festival in the Port of Tampa. 

The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is a large parade and a host of related community events celebrated almost every year since 1904 in Tampa. It is held late January and hosted by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa, and it celebrates the apocryphal legend of José Gaspar (also known as Gasparilla), a mythical Spanish pirate who supposedly operated in Southwest Florida in the early 1800s.

Agency crew members patrolled the water along the parade route, and played a major role in educating boaters of no-wake zones, restricted areas, boating under the influence and basic boating safety throughout the day.

"A large multi-agency effort goes into the preparation for this event," said Lt. Greg Marshall, team leader at Sector St. Petersburg's Vessel Boarding Security Team. "While the event is a lot of fun, it can also be very dangerous if you don't take the steps to protect yourself, others and the environment. It is our job, while working with our partner agencies, to ensure safety measures are met."

In addition to vessel safety and security, Coast Guard Auxiliary crews assisted in the manatee watch program for the safety of marine wildlife.

"This parade draws thousands of recreational boaters and spectators each year," said James Hammond, Tampa resident and spectator at Coast Guard Prevention Department Davis Island during the parade. "It's really comforting to see all the law enforcement, especially these days, come together to make sure we all are safe." 

During the invasion parade today, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Capt. Holly Najarian, lead a multi-agency team which safely guided the Jose Gaspar into the Port of Tampa. 

Follow @uscgsoutheast on Twitter and on Facebook for more photos and coverage of Gasparilla. 

MULTIMEDIA RELEASE: Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, local law enforcement partner for Gasparilla Safety

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 16:15

  

 v

TAMPA, Fla. — Crews from the Coast GuardCoast Guard Auxiliary and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission worked with local law enforcement agencies Saturday to keep waterways safe during the 2017 Gasparilla Parade and Pirate Festival in the Port of Tampa. 

The Gasparilla Pirate Festival is a large parade and a host of related community events celebrated almost every year since 1904 in Tampa. It is held late January and hosted by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and the City of Tampa, and it celebrates the apocryphal legend of José Gaspar (also known as Gasparilla), a mythical Spanish pirate who supposedly operated in Southwest Florida in the early 1800s.

Agency crew members patrolled the water along the parade route, and played a major role in educating boaters of no-wake zones, restricted areas, boating under the influence and basic boating safety throughout the day.

"A large multi-agency effort goes into the preparation for this event," said Lt. Greg Marshall, team leader at Sector St. Petersburg's Vessel Boarding Security Team. "While the event is a lot of fun, it can also be very dangerous if you don't take the steps to protect yourself, others and the environment. It is our job, while working with our partner agencies, to ensure safety measures are met."

In addition to vessel safety and security, Coast Guard Auxiliary crews assisted in the manatee watch program for the safety of marine wildlife.

"This parade draws thousands of recreational boaters and spectators each year," said James Hammond, Tampa resident and spectator at Coast Guard Prevention Department Davis Island during the parade. "It's really comforting to see all the law enforcement, especially these days, come together to make sure we all are safe." 

During the invasion parade today, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Capt. Holly Najarian, lead a multi-agency team which safely guided the Jose Gaspar into the Port of Tampa. 

Follow @uscgsoutheast on Twitter and on Facebook for more photos and coverage of Gasparilla. 

Coast Guard assists in Delaware aircraft emergency

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 14:49

PHILADELPHIA – The Coast Guard assisted a pilot involved in an aircraft emergency in Georgetown, Delaware, today.

A Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was returning from routine training with members of Coast Guard Station Crisfield, Maryland, when crews heard an aircraft emergency broadcast on the radio. 

The helicopter crew diverted to respond to the incident at Delaware Coastal Airport, where they came upon an airplane that was on fire, at about 3 p.m.

Once on-scene a Coast Guard rescue swimmer and flight mechanic provided emergency assistance to the injured pilot until local Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived.

“Unique cases like this illustrate the well rounded nature of our rescue personnel,” said Lt. Clint Lemasters, pilot at Air Station Atlantic City.  “The quick thinking and skill of our response crews allows us to provide critical care to people in distress in a diverse environment.”

Coast Guard assists in Delaware aircraft emergency

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 14:49

PHILADELPHIA – The Coast Guard assisted a pilot involved in an aircraft emergency in Georgetown, Delaware, today.

A Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was returning from routine training with members of Coast Guard Station Crisfield, Maryland, when crews heard an aircraft emergency broadcast on the radio. 

The helicopter crew diverted to respond to the incident at Delaware Coastal Airport, where they came upon an airplane that was on fire, at about 3 p.m.

Once on-scene a Coast Guard rescue swimmer and flight mechanic provided emergency assistance to the injured pilot until local Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived.

“Unique cases like this illustrate the well rounded nature of our rescue personnel,” said Lt. Clint Lemasters, pilot at Air Station Atlantic City.  “The quick thinking and skill of our response crews allows us to provide critical care to people in distress in a diverse environment.”

Coast Guard Cutter Forward crew returns to Portsmouth, Va., after 52-day patrol

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 12:44

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Forward returned to Portsmouth Saturday after a 52-day patrol in the waters off Southern Florida and the Caribbean Sea.

During the patrol, the crew supported Coast Guard Operations Southeast Watch and Bluehammer by performing Alien Migrant Interdiction Operations in the Windward Pass and Florida Straits.

The crew provided blankets, sanitary facilities, supervision and 270 meals for 117 Cuban migrants and 10 detained suspected drug smugglers for a combined 30 days. 

The crew maintained a chain of custody for suspected drug smuggling cases, including 989 pounds of marijuana and a representative sample of 10 kilograms of cocaine.

The crew also rescued a stranded Cuban fisherman who ran out of food, drinking water and fuel. Members of Cutter Forward’s rescue and assistance team brought the mariner supplies and ensured his vessel's engine was working, ultimately saving the fisherman's life. The crew escorted the man and his fishing boat back to Cuban waters to the Cuban Coast Guard.

"This has been a tremendously successful patrol throughout the Southern Florida and Caribbean operating area where the crew showcased their proficiency and commitment, while executing the Coast Guard missions of alien migrant operations, counter-narcotic patrols and search and rescue,” said Stephen Adler, Forward’s commanding officer. "The crew's service and sacrifice in standing the watch at sea over the holiday season is not only a testament to their devotion to their country, but also a reflection of their dedication as a guardian of our shores in the protection of our nation's interest. We are happy to come home to our friends and families for some rest and relaxation, but also look forward to our next challenge at sea."

Cutter Forward is a 270-foot Medium-Endurance Cutter home-ported in Portsmouth, Virginia, with a crew of about 110, that operates in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico for the commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area. The crew’s missions include search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, marine environmental protection, defense readiness, and ports, waterways and coastal security.

Coast Guard Cutter Forward crew returns to Portsmouth, Va., after 52-day patrol

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 12:44

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Forward returned to Portsmouth Saturday after a 52-day patrol in the waters off Southern Florida and the Caribbean Sea.

During the patrol, the crew supported Coast Guard Operations Southeast Watch and Bluehammer by performing Alien Migrant Interdiction Operations in the Windward Pass and Florida Straits.

The crew provided blankets, sanitary facilities, supervision and 270 meals for 117 Cuban migrants and 10 detained suspected drug smugglers for a combined 30 days. 

The crew maintained a chain of custody for suspected drug smuggling cases, including 989 pounds of marijuana and a representative sample of 10 kilograms of cocaine.

The crew also rescued a stranded Cuban fisherman who ran out of food, drinking water and fuel. Members of Cutter Forward’s rescue and assistance team brought the mariner supplies and ensured his vessel's engine was working, ultimately saving the fisherman's life. The crew escorted the man and his fishing boat back to Cuban waters to the Cuban Coast Guard.

"This has been a tremendously successful patrol throughout the Southern Florida and Caribbean operating area where the crew showcased their proficiency and commitment, while executing the Coast Guard missions of alien migrant operations, counter-narcotic patrols and search and rescue,” said Stephen Adler, Forward’s commanding officer. "The crew's service and sacrifice in standing the watch at sea over the holiday season is not only a testament to their devotion to their country, but also a reflection of their dedication as a guardian of our shores in the protection of our nation's interest. We are happy to come home to our friends and families for some rest and relaxation, but also look forward to our next challenge at sea."

Cutter Forward is a 270-foot Medium-Endurance Cutter home-ported in Portsmouth, Virginia, with a crew of about 110, that operates in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico for the commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area. The crew’s missions include search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, marine environmental protection, defense readiness, and ports, waterways and coastal security.

Coast Guard, Maui Fire Department searching for missing fisherman near Pokowai Sea Arch, Maui

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 06:25

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Maui Fire Department are searching for a missing fisherman near the Pokowai Sea Arch, Maui, Saturday.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Maui and USCGC Ahi (WPB 87364) are currently searching. Maui Fire is searching with ground crews and a rescue boat with divers at first light.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification at 2 a.m. from Maui Fire of a 49-year-old man who fell off the sea arch and was last seen floating on his back.

The Coast Guard has issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast requesting the assistance of mariners in the area to keep a sharp look out and report any sightings to command center watch standers at ‪808-842-2600.

Weather conditions in the area are forecast as winds 15 mph with wind waves at 3 feet and swell to 5 feet.

Coast Guard, Maui Fire Department searching for missing fisherman near Pokowai Sea Arch, Maui

Sat, 01/28/2017 - 06:25

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and Maui Fire Department are searching for a missing fisherman near the Pokowai Sea Arch, Maui, Saturday.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point, a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Maui and USCGC Ahi (WPB 87364) are currently searching. Maui Fire is searching with ground crews and a rescue boat with divers at first light.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Honolulu received notification at 2 a.m. from Maui Fire of a 49-year-old man who fell off the sea arch and was last seen floating on his back.

The Coast Guard has issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast requesting the assistance of mariners in the area to keep a sharp look out and report any sightings to command center watch standers at ‪808-842-2600.

Weather conditions in the area are forecast as winds 15 mph with wind waves at 3 feet and swell to 5 feet.

Coast Guard honors fallen hero during memorial in Texas

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 18:24

SAN BENITO, Texas — Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps members from South Texas gathered with the family of a Coast Guard veteran and Silver Star Medal recipient, to honor him at a funeral and memorial in San Benito Friday.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Frederick Dean Mann lived from Oct. 14, 1918 until his death Jan. 9, 2017.

Services included a fly over from a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a 21-gun salute from the Coast Guard's Ceremonial Honor Guard. In Mann's honor, the Navy's USS MICHAEL MURPHY was scheduled to lay a wreath over the wreckage of USS GEORGE F. ELLIOT in Iron Bottom Sound off Guadalcanal.

Mann enlisted in the Coast Guard on August 27, 1939 and retired after 31 years of service. During his service, he was assigned to the USS GEORGE F. ELLIOTT, a Navy transport ship, off the coast of Guadalcanal in 1942. After an enemy plane was shot down and crashed into the ship, Chief Warrant Officer Mann responded heroically to the resulting fire and was awarded the Silver Star Medal for his conspicuous gallantry in the face of great personal danger.

His Silver Star citation reads as follows:

“For conspicuous gallantry while attached to the USS George Elliott in action against Japanese forces off Guadalcanal August 8, 1942. When a hostile plane was shot down and exploded on board the ship, transforming the ship into a blazing torch, Mann carried a fire hose into the troop ammunition magazine to flood the compartment. Subsequently, despite suffocating smoke and dangerously heated bulkheads he reentered the compartment recovered the hose and continued his efforts. His action prevented the magazine from exploding.”

For more information about Mann and his heroic life, read the Coast Guard's record of his oral history, or a Coast Guard Compass Blog post by his daughter after his 97th birthday: Self-proclaimed “Coast Guard brat” reflects on servicemembers of yesterday and today.

Coast Guard honors fallen hero during memorial in Texas

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 18:24

SAN BENITO, Texas — Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps members from South Texas gathered with the family of a Coast Guard veteran and Silver Star Medal recipient, to honor him at a funeral and memorial in San Benito Friday.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Frederick Dean Mann lived from Oct. 14, 1918 until his death Jan. 9, 2017.

Services included a fly over from a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a 21-gun salute from the Coast Guard's Ceremonial Honor Guard. In Mann's honor, the Navy's USS MICHAEL MURPHY was scheduled to lay a wreath over the wreckage of USS GEORGE F. ELLIOT in Iron Bottom Sound off Guadalcanal.

Mann enlisted in the Coast Guard on August 27, 1939 and retired after 31 years of service. During his service, he was assigned to the USS GEORGE F. ELLIOTT, a Navy transport ship, off the coast of Guadalcanal in 1942. After an enemy plane was shot down and crashed into the ship, Chief Warrant Officer Mann responded heroically to the resulting fire and was awarded the Silver Star Medal for his conspicuous gallantry in the face of great personal danger.

His Silver Star citation reads as follows:

“For conspicuous gallantry while attached to the USS George Elliott in action against Japanese forces off Guadalcanal August 8, 1942. When a hostile plane was shot down and exploded on board the ship, transforming the ship into a blazing torch, Mann carried a fire hose into the troop ammunition magazine to flood the compartment. Subsequently, despite suffocating smoke and dangerously heated bulkheads he reentered the compartment recovered the hose and continued his efforts. His action prevented the magazine from exploding.”

For more information about Mann and his heroic life, read the Coast Guard's record of his oral history, or a Coast Guard Compass Blog post by his daughter after his 97th birthday: Self-proclaimed “Coast Guard brat” reflects on servicemembers of yesterday and today.

PHOTO RELEASE: Coast Guard honors fallen shipmates from Blackthorn tragedy

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 17:56

    

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard honored 23 fallen crew members Friday in St. Petersburg during the 37th anniversary memorial service of the Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn collision.

The Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn sank after colliding with the tanker vessel Capricorn near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Jan. 28, 1980. The Blackthorn lost 23 of its 50 crew members in the Coast Guard's worst peacetime disaster. A memorial inscribed with the names of the crew members who perished stands two miles north of the collision site.

"This is the first Blackthorn memorial ceremony I've been to," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Odlanier Gonzalez-Vega, crew member stationed at Sector St. Petersburg. "After all these years, I am proud we still take a moment to gather and reflect."

Rear Adm. Scott A. Buschman, Coast Guard District Seven commander, presided over the ceremony held in Blackthorn Memorial Park at the base of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge overlooking Tampa Bay. The ceremony included an aerial salute by Air Station Clearwater crews, a reading of the names of Blackthorn victims and the tolling of the ship’s bell. 

During the ceremony, crew members from Coast Guard Cutter Joshua Appleby, a 175-foot Keeper Class Coastal Buoy Tender homeported in St. Petersburg and Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber, a 154-foot Fast Response cutter homeported in Miami, laid 23 roses to commemorate each of the fallen crew members. 

"This annual ceremony commemorating the Blackthorn crew was a beautiful and solemn occasion," said Lt. Ashley Holm, crew member at Sector St. Petersburg's Waterways Management Division.  "I am honored to be here and pay tribute to my fallen shipmates."

The Blackthorn collision provided the impetus for the establishment of the Command and Operations School at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. The school offers courses to prepare command-level officers and senior enlisted members for command duty afloat. Additionally, the Coast Guard developed new training requirements, invested in more safety equipment and made changes to the navigational aids in and around Tampa Bay.

Steeped in tradition and respectful remembrance, the annual Blackthorn commemoration is a moving tribute offering glimpses into the finest Coast Guard traditions.

For breaking news follow us on Twitter @USCGSoutheast

PHOTO RELEASE: Coast Guard honors fallen shipmates from Blackthorn tragedy

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 17:56

    

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Coast Guard honored 23 fallen crew members Friday in St. Petersburg during the 37th anniversary memorial service of the Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn collision.

The Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn sank after colliding with the tanker vessel Capricorn near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge Jan. 28, 1980. The Blackthorn lost 23 of its 50 crew members in the Coast Guard's worst peacetime disaster. A memorial inscribed with the names of the crew members who perished stands two miles north of the collision site.

"This is the first Blackthorn memorial ceremony I've been to," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Odlanier Gonzalez-Vega, crew member stationed at Sector St. Petersburg. "After all these years, I am proud we still take a moment to gather and reflect."

Rear Adm. Scott A. Buschman, Coast Guard District Seven commander, presided over the ceremony held in Blackthorn Memorial Park at the base of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge overlooking Tampa Bay. The ceremony included an aerial salute by Air Station Clearwater crews, a reading of the names of Blackthorn victims and the tolling of the ship’s bell. 

During the ceremony, crew members from Coast Guard Cutter Joshua Appleby, a 175-foot Keeper Class Coastal Buoy Tender homeported in St. Petersburg and Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber, a 154-foot Fast Response cutter homeported in Miami, laid 23 roses to commemorate each of the fallen crew members. 

"This annual ceremony commemorating the Blackthorn crew was a beautiful and solemn occasion," said Lt. Ashley Holm, crew member at Sector St. Petersburg's Waterways Management Division.  "I am honored to be here and pay tribute to my fallen shipmates."

The Blackthorn collision provided the impetus for the establishment of the Command and Operations School at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. The school offers courses to prepare command-level officers and senior enlisted members for command duty afloat. Additionally, the Coast Guard developed new training requirements, invested in more safety equipment and made changes to the navigational aids in and around Tampa Bay.

Steeped in tradition and respectful remembrance, the annual Blackthorn commemoration is a moving tribute offering glimpses into the finest Coast Guard traditions.

For breaking news follow us on Twitter @USCGSoutheast

Coast Guard member arraigned following fatal car accident

Fri, 01/27/2017 - 12:34

CLEVELAND — A Detroit-based Coast Guardsman was arraigned at Michigan's 48th District Court in Oakland County, Friday.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Gregory Belkin, 43, is being held without bond on charges of second-degree murder and operating while intoxicated resulting in death.

Belkin was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon by the Bloomfield Township Police Department for driving under the influence after he was involved in a car accident that killed another driver late Tuesday night. He was off duty at the time of the accident.

Belkin is assigned to Coast Guard Sector Detroit, where he manages the storage and transfer of aids-to-navigation equipment.

"This is an absolutely tragic incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family members of the victim,” said Capt. Scott LeMasters, commander of Sector Detroit. “The Coast Guard is an organization committed to helping others and saving lives, and driving under the influence goes against our core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty."

The Coast Guard is cooperating fully with local authorities in their investigation of the accident. 

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