U.S. Coast Guard News

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USCG: Hoax Distress Calls can be Deadly

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2018-07-20 09:51:30

“This is the fishing vessel Sol e Mar. This is a mayday, we’re sinking, we need help now!” These were among the last words of 19-year-old Billy Hokanson, as the fishing boat that he and his father were on sank to the bottom of the ocean on March 25, 1990. Coast Guard Stations Menemsha and Brad Point, both off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, received the distress call on marine radio channel 16 – distorted by heavy amounts of...

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The Cutter that Dates Back to the Apollo Program

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2018-06-27 13:52:32

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step onto the surface of the moon. Half a century later, the U.S. Coast Guard is still using the same technology to conduct modern-day operations. The Coast Guard cutter Active, a 210-foot Reliance-class cutter homeported in Port Angeles, Washington, is the eighth Coast Guard vessel to bear the name and was officially commissioned Sept. 1, 1966 - almost three years before Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the moon. Petty Officer...

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Seafarer's Invention: the Hammer Hook

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2018-06-25 12:21:00

Petty Officer First Class Kevin Spratt, a boatswain’s mate aboard the buoy tender Spar out of Kodiak, Alaska, has worked buoys for most of his Coast Guard career. His understanding of the workflow on deck and the real needs of ATON workers ultimately won him the service's top innovation award. “Working in [Aids to Navigation], you have multiple tools that you have to use,” said Spratt. “You have to use a sledgehammer and chain hook. The sledgehammer is used to...

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Electronic ATON Helped Reopen Ports After 2017 Hurricanes

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2018-06-19 16:12:38

The U.S. Coast Guard was recently recognized by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) for its use of electronic Aids to Navigation (eATON) during the 2017 hurricane season. IALA's members selected the U.S. Coast Guard for its best practices award during its recent conference in Incheon, South Korea.  The U.S. Coast Guard maintains more than a quarter of the eATON in use around the world today. Using the Nationwide Automatic Identification System (AIS) network of...

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Date Set for Public Hearing for Bouchard No. 255 Tank Barge Fire

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2018-05-09 14:29:00

The Eighth Coast Guard District, headquartered in New Orleans, will conduct a formal public hearing to consider evidence related to the explosion, fire, and subsequent loss of life that occurred onboard the Bouchard No. 255 Tank Barge off the coast of Texas Oct. 20, 2017. The hearing will convene at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston, Monday, July 16, 2018 at 8 a.m., and will continue through Friday, July 27, 2018. The Coast Guard will release a detailed schedule at the...

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Short-Range Drones for the Maritime Environment

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2018-05-08 13:44:00

[By Loretta Haring] The Coast Guard “sees a clear opportunity to perform many of its missions faster, cheaper and more safely through the use of short-range unmanned aircraft systems,” according to Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Lampe, short-range UAS platform manager in the service's Office of Aviation Forces. But exactly what are the risks, benefits and limitations of operating this technology in a maritime environment? The Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Program has partnered with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to get...

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The Civil War Operations of the Revenue Cutter Service

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2018-05-02 21:19:00

[By William H. Thiesen, Ph.D., Coast Guard Atlantic Area historian] As it would in nearly every war in U.S. history, the U.S. Coast Guard served an important role in the Civil War. During this conflict, the Coast Guard’s ancestor agency of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service performed a variety of naval combat operations. By 1860, the Revenue Cutter Service’s fleet was spread across the nation, with cutters stationed in every major American seaport. After the presidential election of Abraham Lincoln,...

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The Female Trailblazers of the Coast Guard

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2018-04-13 16:43:00

[By William H. Thiesen, Ph.D., Coast Guard Atlantic Area historian] Don’t be a Spare; be a SPAR. Release a fighting Coast Guardsman for combat; train at the Palm Beach Biltmore; wear clothes designed by Mainbocher. Apply nearest Coast Guard office. — U.S. Coast Guard SPAR Recruiting Poster In December 1941, the United States was plunged into the conflict. A year later, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a law creating the Women’s Reserve branch of the Coast Guard and the service began recruiting women...

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Cadets Create App to Reduce Whale Strikes

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2018-03-27 16:51:00

Only about 430 right whales remain, and scientists predict that the species will be extinct by 2040. In the last two years, 35 right whales were found dead, with only five new calves being born in the 2016 to 2017 birthing season. Throughout the 2017 to 2018 birthing season, no calves have been seen, leading scientists to conclude that there are no new right whales. With the whales diminishing, two Coast Guard Academy cadets have stepped up to do the right thing and help save...

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Breaking Ice on the 41-Year-Old Polar Star

By U.S. Coast Guard News 2018-03-16 17:29:00

The Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star deploys to Antarctica every year to break ice and create a navigable channel. That channel allows supply ships to reach the National Science Foundation’s McMurdo Station to make crucial deliveries. Achieving mission success in Antarctica relies on many variables. Capt. Michael Davanzo, the commanding officer of the Polar Star, said there’s a series of events that must happen in order for everything to fall into place. “Mission success happens when we get both supply ships safely to the ice pier...

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