Small Tribute to the

U.S. Coast Guard



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The photo's original caption stated: "Speak, boy -- Coast Guardsman Raymond A. Wiascinski, engineman second class (right), and Seaman David E. Aikens try to coax friend Charlie into singing for part of his supper at Los Angeles Harbor Light.  Charlie, a junior-sized California harbor seal, has been adopted by the station-keepers as their unofficial mascot."; 4 February 1966.



When many people think about the United States Coast Guard, we think about how they rescue people who capsize in their boats. Sometimes we may even think about how they intersect drug trafficking or illegal immigrants that come in through the south shores. But the United States Coast Guard does so much we don't normally think about or realize. D.C. can't mention all the great things they do for us, but we would like to highlight a few and say thank you!  


THANK YOU (English)

GRACIAS (Spanish)


YAKOKE (Chickasaw)

DOH JEH (Chinese-Cantonese)


SHUKRAN (Arabic)

TODA RABA (Hebrew)

SPASIBO (Russian)

AGANTE (Swahili)




JUNEAU, Alaska -- The 178-foot Spirit of Glacier Bay was re-floated from a sand bar in Tarr Inlet. Preliminary assessment of the vessel's propulsion system is operational. No pollution has been reported and boom has been prestaged on board the Spirit of Glacier Bay as a precautionary measure. USCG Photo.



JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new MH65C helicopter of Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron flies tactical maneuvers with a tactical training boat during training in the St. Johns River, Fla., March 26, 2008. Coast Guard photograph by PAC Donnie Brzuska.






















All photographs, captions and bulleted wording came directly from the U.S. Coast Guard web site at For thousands of other pictures, tons of history, and how to join the forces, please visit their site.



Oil Clean-Up

  • Apr 2, 1983- The State Department forwarded a request for assistance from the United Arab Emirates to help prepare for an oil spill cleanup in the Persian Gulf.  The spill occurred after combat operations during the Iran/Iraq war had left many oil wells burning and leaking oil.  Four Coast Guard pollution experts responded to the request.

  • Mar 24, 1989- The tanker Exxon Valdez grounded on a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 10.1 million gallons of crude oil.  This was the worst oil spill in U.S. history to date.  Coast Guard units responded and prevented the entire cargo from spilling, cleaned up the oil which did spill, and conducted an investigation into the causes of the accident.  The spill provided the impetus for the passage of the Oil Protection Act of 1990, which greatly increased the Coast Guard's role in protecting the nation against spills.

Above: Prince William Sound, AK (Mar. 28)--Workers steam blast rocks soaked in crude oil from the leaking tanker Exxon Valdez. U.S. COAST GUARD PHOTO

Below: PACIFICA BEACH, Calif. -- Coast Guard, State Fish and Game and contracted responders continue clean-up efforts along beaches from Carmel to Pacifica after tarballs washed ashore. (photo by Petty Officer Erik Swanson)

  • Jan 26, 1991- Upon receiving a request from the Saudi government, the Bush Administration determined that the Coast Guard would head an interagency team that would assist the Saudi government in an oil spill assessment and plan for a clean-up operation after an intentional Iraqi oil spill.

  • Jul 1, 1995-The 750-foot Greek-flagged freighter Alexia collided with the 514-foot Singapore-flagged Enif near the mouth of the Mississippi River, 70 miles south of New Orleans.  The two ships were joined at the point of collision and drifted through the maze of oil and gas platforms scattered across the area, narrowly missing one by a mere 25 yards.  CGC Courageous served as the on-scene commander to coordinate the response.  AIRSTA New Orleans launched three helicopters to provide SAR coverage and to evaluate the damage suffered by the foundering vessels.  Personnel from MSO New Orleans and the Gulf Strike Team  were sent on-scene to deal with the 80,000 gallon fuel-oil spill.  CGC White Holly and M/V Secore Osprey provided skimming resources.  The freighters were separated successfully, their remaining fuel was lightered off and they made it to Mobile escorted by CGC Point Lobos

Above: The ferry Natchez is surrounded by boom July 25, 2008, at downtown New Orleans. The motor vessel Tintomara and a tug and barge collided, spilling nearly 420,000 gallons of oil. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher D.

Below:  (Nov. 12, 2007) SAN FRANCISCO - Cleanup crews attend to the Motor Vessel Cosco Busan here today. (Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer Jonathan R. Cilley)

  • Jan. 19, 1996- The tug Scandia and its barge, the North Cape, ran aground on the shore of Rhode Island, spilling 828,000 gallons of oil.  This was the worst spill in that state's history.  The Coast Guard rescued the entire crew, pumped off 1.5 million gallons of oil and conducted skimming operations.

  • Mar 18, 1996- The single-hulled barge San Gabriel buckled and split open in rough seas, rupturing two tanks and spilling 210,000 gallons of oil in the Houston Ship Channel near Galveston, Texas.  Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Galveston established a joint command structure with local agencies and private contractors to isolate and then clean up the spill.  Personnel from the Gulf Strike Team, MSO Houston, MSO New Orleans, Aviation Training Center Mobile, and the 8th District supplemented MSU Galveston.  The majority of the spill was cleaned up in three days.

  • Jun 12, 1999-The small cruise vessel Wilderness Adventurer ran aground in Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.  All passengers and crew were safely evacuated from the stranded vessel.  The responders from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Coast Guard, and Glacier Bay Tours and Cruises (which operated the vessel) then successfully refloated her and towed her to drydock.  Oil containment booms contained the 300 gallons of fuel that leaked from the vessel.  A Coast Guard spokesman later stated "This is the best-run multi-agency operation I've seen in my career.  It went well.  We still have a damaged vessel to take care of, but at least it's not at the bottom of the ocean in a national park."  The Coast Guard also investigated the accident.


Environmental Protection

  • Feb 23, 1822- Congress authorized the Revenue Cutter Service to protect the natural environment by preventing "scoundrels" from cutting live oak, needed for cutters and Navy vessels, on Florida public lands.

  • Apr 6, 1894- President authorized the Revenue Cutter Service to enforce the Paris Award, which was concerned with the preservation of fur seals in Alaska.

  • Jun 7, 1902-Alaskan Game Law passed to be enforced by Revenue Cutter Service "on request" of Secretary of Agriculture. It, however, was not effectively enforced by Coast Guard until 1925.

  • Jul 7, 1911- Convention signed between United States, Great Britain, Japan and Russia prohibiting taking of fur seals and sea otters in North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea, north of 300 latitude, except for food and clothing.

  • Jun 7, 1924-Oil Pollution Act was passed. It was enforced by the Coast Guard

  • May 1, 1936-Congress passed the Whaling Treaty Act, which made it unlawful to take right whales or calves of any whale.  The act was enforced by the Coast Guard. 1936-Congress passed the Whaling Treaty Act, which made it unlawful to take right whales or calves of any whale.  The act was enforced by the Coast Guard.

  • Apr 7, 1938- Congress passed HR 8982, an amendment to the Alien Fishing Act (50 Stat. 639).  The amendment clarified the earlier laws on salmon fishing in Alaskan waters by limiting commercial salmon fishing in the vicinity of Bristol Bay, Alaska, to U.S. citizens only.  The act was enforced by the Coast Guard.

Top: Coast Guard crews assist members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration track an entangled whale calf 28 miles southwest of Oahu April 25, 2008. Members of the Coast Guard and NOAA often work together to resolve animal distress issues and marine debris cases. (Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael De Nyse, U.S. Coast Guard.)

Middle: HOLDEN BEACH, N.C. (Nov. 15, 2004) SN Eric Suder (left) assists NOAA Fisheries in the release of a satellite-tagged dolphin off an ex-Coast Guard 41’ UTB, donated to NOAA and retrofitted for marine research.

Bottom: A staff member from the Marine Mammal Care Center in an Pedro releases a sea lion from a 25-foot Coast Guard Safe Boat off Catalina Island.  The sea lion was released along with another sea lion that had alos been at the care center. Photo by CWO Scott Epperson


All Are Created Equal

  • Jul 29, 1898- The Revenue Cutter Bear took 97 survivors of whaling vessels, who had been caught in Arctic ice and rescued by the Overland Expedition, and transported them to San Francisco.

  • May 17, 1999-The Coast Guard "kept the peace" when the Makah Indian tribe hunted and killed a gray whale in Neah Bay, Washington.  The Makah were guaranteed the right to hunt whales in their 1855 treaty with the U.S.







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This site was last updated 12/05/08