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Imagery available: Coast Guard participates in Pearl Harbor 75th observance; honors survivors

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 16:50


U.S. Coast Guard honor flight photos by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tara Molle.
U.S. Coast Guard Erickson photo Coast Guard file photo.

To view images larger or download please click on the corresponding image above.

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard, alongside the other armed services, are observing the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Oahu, this week. 

Coast Guard men and women are participating in a number of events around the island to honor the survivors and the sacrifices of the more than 2,000 Americans killed in the attacked. The Coast Guard was also present in Oahu and served alongside our shipmates during the attack. 

One of the most prominent lasting effects of Pearl Harbor on the Coast Guard is the way we conduct search and rescue. The Coast Guard conducted a medevac of an ill mariner north of Oahu as recently as Sunday. This case illustrates the importance of the hoist capable helicopters regularly used to provide lifesaving assistance to mariners around the nation. This capability was actually born out of the events of Dec. 7th and Pearl Harbor. Coast Guard Lt. Frank Erickson served in Hawaii that day and after. He witnessed the death of thousands of sailors who couldn’t safely be reached and rescued. He went on to work with Igor Sikorsky to build an experimental hoist capable helicopter and was the Coast Guard’s first helicopter pilot. His intuition and ingenuity completely redefined the way the Coast Guard performs search and rescue and provided for this mariner’s rescue. More can be read about Erickson's story here:

Other crews and assets involved in Dec. 7, 1941, include:

USCGC Kukui (WAGL 225) was positioned at Pier 4 in Honolulu when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. As the buoy tender was unarmed, they remained dockside, at Pier 4 until further instruction was passed. The Army requested the Kukui transport a combat squad to Ni’ihau in response to the reports of Japanese aviators having landed there. They arrived with the squad to find the aviators deceased. 

USCGC Tiger (WSC 152) was under Navy jurisdiction and assigned to the local defense forces of the 14th Naval District. Equipped with depth charges, listening gear and firearms, Tiger was designed to interdict smugglers who attempted to unload booze during the height of Prohibition. Early on Dec. 7, 1941, they intercepted dispatch from a Navy destroyer that claimed the destruction of an enemy submarine. They continued the patrol eastward toward the Pearl Harbor entrance and around 8 a.m. started taking fire from an unknown source. They guarded the entrance all day and throughout the night, even taking what is now thought to be friendly fire in the darkness from Army units along the shore that assumed the ship was a foreign threat.

CG-8 lay moored to Pier 4 in Honolulu Harbor when the Japanese attacked. The crew of six went to general quarters and prepared to get the vessel underway. At approximately 9 a.m., CG-8 moved to Sand Island to pick up the depot keeper while bombs exploded nearby. CG-8 proceeded back across the channel to Kewalo Basin and was strafed by Japanese aircraft while en route. At the basin CG-8 prohibited the small private vessels and sampans from leaving until Naval Intelligence could clear the owners. After the two waves of Japanese planes withdrew, the Coast Guard secured the port areas, blacked out all navigational aids and stationed guards along the waterfront.

The morning of Dec. 7, 1941, USCGC Taney (WPG 37) was tied up at Pier 6 in Honolulu Harbor six miles away from the naval anchorage.  After the first Japanese craft appeared over the island, Taney 's crew went to general quarters and made preparations to get underway.  While observing the attack over Pearl Harbor, Taney received no orders to move and did not participate in the initial attack by the Japanese.  Just after 9 a.m., when the second wave of planes began their attack on the naval anchorage, Taney fired on high altitude enemy aircraft with her 3-inch guns and .50 caliber machine guns.  The extreme range of the planes limited the effect of the fire and the guns were secured after twenty minutes.

The USCGC Walnut (WAGL 252) was patrolling Midway Atoll to conduct aids to navigation work, 1,200 miles northwest of Oahu when Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese forces on Dec. 7, 1941. Upon receiving word of the attack, the Walnut crew ensured that all lights were immediately extinguished to prevent the enemy from using the aids as a navigational reference. That night, about 1,000 miles northwest of Hawaii, Japanese destroyers shelled Midway Island. At 9:30 p.m. the unarmed buoy tender Walnut observed gun flashes from the northwest. Shells began landing within 100 feet of the ship, but Walnut remained anchored during the 30-minute attack. During this attack, a U.S. PBY Flying Boat crashed in Midway Lagoon within the Walnut’s vicinity. Walnut’s crewmembers recovered the injured aircrew, ultimately saving their lives. Walnut continued to complete aids to navigation work, conduct search and rescue, and run convoy missions.

Dec. 10, 1941, John Sweeney, the keeper of Barbers Point Light Station, witnessed an aerial attack and recounts the events in this after action report. According to Sweeney, "At 8 a.m., many planes were seen overhead, both Japanese and ours. Dog fighting continued for twenty minutes, bullets hitting the ground in bursts. Then all planes headed south, our planes chasing them. Two parachutists were dropped close to the station; they were confused in the kiawi trees and prowled around the station all Sunday night, the Fort Kam. 55th C.A. boys firing at them with rifles and machine guns. One was wounded, and was later found on the beach, buried by his mate. His feet were sticking out of the sand. The other was later shot by an officer."

More about the Coast Guard in Pearl Harbor including first hand account and narratives can be viewed at:

Editors note: Media interested in interviewing Coast Guard pilot Lt. Matthew Chase about Erickson's story may contact Lt. Scott Carr, Coast Guard at 808-291-3394. Chase will be available to discuss Erickson, Coast Guard aviation as related to the events of Pearl Harbor and the service’s current missions in Hawaii and the Pacific.

Coast Guard conducts MEDEVAC near Race Rock, N.Y.

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 10:47

NEW LONDON, Conn. — Coast Guard Station New London crewmembers medically evacuated a man near Race Rock in Southold, New York, Monday.

Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center received notification at approximately 11:15 a.m., reporting a 56-year old diabetic man aboard a tug boat who had been vomiting for 24-hours and requested a medical evacuation. 

A Station New London 29-foot Response Boat small (RBS) conducting training in the area diverted to the tug boat’s location and was on scene in approximately 10 minutes.

The station rescue crew carefully transferred the man aboard the RBS and safely transported him to Station New London, Conn., where emergency medical services were waiting.

VIDEO RELEASE: Coast Guard Rescues 4 in New River Inlet, NC

Mon, 12/05/2016 - 09:26

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard rescued four men from a boat in New River Inlet, North Carolina, Sunday.

Sector North Carolina watchstanders in Wilmington were notified that a 27-foot boat ran aground and was taking on water near New River Inlet, at around 5 p.m. 

An MH-60 helicopter crew launched and arrived on scene at approximately 7 p.m.

It was reported one passenger experienced chest pains while Coast Guard air crews were en route. 

The four men were hoisted and transferred to Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina where they were met by awaiting EMS.

For breaking news, follow the 5th District on Twitter @USCGMidAtlantic.

Coast Guard, state troopers rescue 3 aboard grounded vessel near Broad Island, Alaska

Sun, 12/04/2016 - 18:01

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard and the Alaska State Troopers rescued three people aboard a 53-foot recreational boat that ran hard aground on Broad Island in Peril Strait Sunday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a report at about 11:40 p.m. Saturday that the Danasea ran aground and was taking on water with three people aboard. The vessel was equipped with an emergency position-indicating radio beacon, life raft, survival suits and a radio.

After 1 a.m. Sunday, a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60T Jayhawk crew lowered a rescue swimmer and one pump and then a second after the first pump was not able to keep up with the flooding. The rescue swimmer remained aboard the Danasea while a good Samaritan vessel escorted it until the Alaska State Troopers vessel Enforcer arrived on scene. The good Samaritan vessel also brought aboard two of the people from the Danasea. At approximately 3 a.m. the Enforcer arrived on scene to escort the Danasea, while its skipper decided to continue transit to Sitka using the pumps to combat the influx of water.

"This case illustrates the importance of collaboration with local SAR [search and rescue] partners such as the Alaska State Troopers and the support of good Samaritans lending a hand," said Vince Grochowski, Sector Juneau Command Center watchstander. "Snow squalls in the area greatly impacted the time Coast Guard aircraft could safely remain on scene; however, the responding vessels were able to provide critical assistance to the Danasea."

At approximately 8:15 a.m. the Danasea moored safely at Halibut Point Marina while escorted by the Enforcer.

Weather on scene was reported as snowing with winds of 4.6 mph and 7 miles of visibility.

For breaking news follow the Coast Guard's 17th District Twitter account @USCGAlaska.


Imagery available: Coast Guard searching for 2 possible persons in water off Big Island

Sun, 12/04/2016 - 17:55


(Courtesy photos/Released)

HONOLULU —The Coast Guard is searching for two possible persons in the water off of the Big Island, five miles north of Kawaihae and the Kohala district, Sunday.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and the crew of the USCGC Ahi (WPB 87364) have been launched to search the surrounding areas.

Watchstanders from the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu command center received notification from the Hawaii County Fire Department Sunday morning regarding a 12-foot Zodiac dinghy found adrift offshore by a mariner. Reports were also received of a man and a woman seen by fellow campers using a dinghy matching the description of the one found.

The dinghy has evidence of recent use with two fishing rods, tackle box and fresh fish in the cooler aboard. Owner of the Zodiac is thought to be Derek Liu. He is believed to own a green Nissan truck with a trailer that has been left at the campsite.

Anyone with information that may help locate the owners of the dinghy is asked to contact the Sector Honolulu command center at 808-842-2600.

Weather conditions on scene are reportedly 8 mph winds with waves at 2 feet and approximately 8 miles of visibility.

Coast Guard rescues 3 people near Half Moon Bay

Sun, 12/04/2016 - 09:21

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard along with San Mateo Fire Fighters rescued three people from a rocky cove in Half Moon Bay, Calif., at approximately 2:00 p.m. Saturday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center received a 911 transfer call at 12:01 p.m., from a man on a disabled and adrift 17-foot recreational vessel in Half Moon Bay with two other individuals onboard.

Sector San Francisco launched a Station Monterey 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew and an Air Station San Francisco MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew. 

At approximately 12:30 p.m., San Mateo Firefighters arrived on scene reporting all three people were out of the water and safe but stranded in a cove after the boat had run aground. The Coast Guard helicopter crew safely evacuated three people from the rocks, transferring two individuals to the San Mateo Fire Department.

There are no significant injuries reported.  

"I cannot stress the importance of wearing life jackets whenever you go out on the water and having a means to communicate such as a VHF radio," said Lt. Cmdr. Rhianna Macon, search and rescue mission coordinator at Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. "The amazing cooperation between all agencies involved ultimately resulted in rescuing three people." 


Coast Guard conducts medevac from fishing vessel off Oahu on eve of Pearl Harbor 75th

Sat, 12/03/2016 - 18:54
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard medevaced the master of the 70-foot fishing vessel Lady J3 about 41 miles north of Oahu Saturday morning.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point safely medevaced the 36-year-old man to Queens Medical Center in Honolulu for treatment. He was reportedly suffering from swelling to his lower extremities and was unable to stand. 

Coast Guard watchstanders at Joint Rescue Communications Center Honolulu received a request for the medevac from the NOAA Fisheries observer aboard the Lady J3 mid-morning Friday. The vessel was 176 miles north of Kauai at the time, heading toward Oahu and maintained a six-hour communications schedule with Coast Guard Sector Honolulu watchstanders. 

By the evening the master’s condition had deteriorated and he was having trouble breathing. At the recommendation of the Coast Guard flight surgeon the vessel continued to make best course and speed toward Oahu to close the distance and bring them into range of the Coast Guard Dolphin crew. The medevac was conducted at first light to bring the master to a higher level of medical care. 

“This case illustrates the importance of the hoist capable helicopters we regularly use to provide lifesaving assistance to mariners around the nation,” said Lt. Matt Chase, a pilot with Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point. “This capability was actually born out of the events of Dec. 7th and Pearl Harbor. Coast Guard Lt. Frank Erickson served in Hawaii that day and after. He witnessed the death of thousands of sailors who couldn’t safely be reached and rescued. He went on to work with Igor Sikorsky to build an experimental hoist capable helicopter and was the Coast Guard’s first helicopter pilot. His intuition and ingenuity completely redefined the way the Coast Guard performs search and rescue and provided for this mariner’s rescue today.” 

Weather conditions at the time of the hoist were reportedly 12 mph winds with seas to 7 feet, haze and showers. 

Editors note: Media interested in interviewing Lt. Matthew Chase, Sunday at Air Station Barbers Point may contact Lt. Scott Carr, Coast Guard at 808-291-3394. Chase will be available to discuss Erickson, Coast Guard aviation as related to the events of Pearl Harbor and the service’s current missions in Hawaii and the Pacific.

No imagery is available for this case. 

Coast Guard medevacs man from cruise ship

Sat, 12/03/2016 - 14:33

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard medevaced a 57 year-old man from a cruise ship 140 nautical miles south of Southwest Pass, Louisiana, Saturday.            

At 8:52 a.m. the Eighth Coast Guard District Command Center watchstanders received a call from the cruise ship Carnival Dream for a passenger suffering from severe stomach pain.

Watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Air Station MH-65 Dolphin aircrew and a Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircrew. 

The MH-65 arrived on scene at 2:00 p.m. and transferred the passenger to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, Louisiana.  The passenger was reported in critical condition. 

Newburyport surpasses 'rigorous criteria' to earn re-designation as Coast Guard City

Sat, 12/03/2016 - 11:47

BOSTON — The city of Newburyport was re-designated as a “Coast Guard City” Saturday during a ceremony at The Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport. 

During the ceremony, Rear Admiral Steven D. Poulin, commander of the First Coast Guard District, presented the proclamation to Newburyport’s Mayor Donna D. Holaday, officially re-certifying the city. Capt. Claudia Gelzer, commander of Coast Guard Sector Boston, read the proclamation.

“Despite the fact that there are more than 360 port communities in the Unites States, only about 20 of them have been designated as Coast Guard cities,” said Poulin. “Designation is special and the bar has been set high. The city of Newburyport has met the rigorous criteria and more. In fact, I think it's more appropriate to say the city of Newburyport far surpassed the criteria.”

Since being originally designated a "Coast Guard City" in 2012, the city of Newburyport has continued to build upon its connection to the Coast Guard and Station Merrimack River by making the Coast Guard a focal point in its annual celebrations. The city also highlights Coast Guard contributions to the city's maritime history through special civic events, and an annual awards program to honor individual standout local Coast Guardsmen. 

The city also actively supports the local Coast Guard Auxiliary, demonstrating their appreciation for all the Coast Guard's service components.

Newburyport officials have significantly enriched the lives of the Coast Guard men and women of Station Merrimack River with welcome aboard outreach and in-person education on community services, and provided home-cooked meals for the crew during galley renovations in 2013 and 2015.

The city also contributed generously to exercise facility improvements through a city grant program via the Coast Guard Foundation in 2015, demonstrating a deep respect and connection to their local Coast Guard as well as a concern for their health and well being.

Additionally, the city of Newburyport is developing additional opportunities to honor the Coast Guard and increase Coast Guard awareness into the future. The city hosted a Coast Guard Band concert in September 2016 as an extension of Boston Light's 300th anniversary, and plans to offer development opportunities for Coast Guard Academy Cadets in the near future.

Poulin said it’s essential the Coast Guard continues to re-certify Newburyport as a Coast Guard City because it signifies the city's enduring bond with the Coast Guard and is something that will mark our public service together well into the future. 

In addition to the city's present-day contributions to the Coast Guard, Newburyport is the birthplace of the Coast Guard. The U.S. Revenue Cutter Massachusetts was launched from Newburyport in July 1791, and served out of Boston. USRC Massachusetts was one of the first ten cutters operated by the Revenue-Marine, later to become the Coast Guard, and the first cutter to enter active service.

The Coast Guard City program began in 1998 endorsed by both Congress and the Coast Guard to recognize the support that Coast Guard personnel receive from a city. Designation as a "Coast Guard City" is for a five year period, but can be extended as long as the city continues to meet the criteria.