Coast Guard Club Newsletter
WHO RECEIVES THIS NEWSLETTER? Members who have an upcoming birthday, each potential Coast Guard Club recruit, & any Coastie I write to. This Newsletter is posted on the Web at WWW.USCGRADIO.NET, WWW.JACKSJOINT.COM & at WWW.FREDSPLACE.ORG. If you can receive e-mail files & would like a copy of this Newsletter each month, please contact me.
JOINING THE COAST GUARD CLUB on the WEB. Go to WWW.USCGRADIO.NET. Current members may update their mailing address, call sign change, & any other information about their CG service, station equipment or email address by clicking on the Membership Form link & fill in the blanks.
COAST GUARD CLUB CALL BOOK is bound in a 1” spiral binder & will include a Certificate of Membership in the COAST GUARD CLUB suitable for framing. If you want a copy, send a cheque for $15.ØØ, which includes postage, payable to Don Gardner.
Search and Rescue SitReps
MIAMI Crews from CGC GALLATIN & Helo Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) made a 4,ØØØ-lb cocaine bust in the Colombian basin & detained 4 suspect smugglers from a go-fast vessel. This bust is the first one of the new fiscal year, which began Oct. 1 & follows a record shattering year in FY 2ØØ4 with more than 24Ø,ØØØ lbs of cocaine seized in the Eastern Pacific & Caribbean. The 4Ø-ft drug-smuggling go-fast was spotted by GALLATIN’s embarked MH-68 Sting Ray helo crew in international waters. As soon as the crew aboard the go-fast knew they had been spotted, they began throwing bales overboard & a chase ensued. The helo’s crew gave the go-fast multiple visual & verbal warnings to stop, but they were ignored. Sting Ray was given permission to fire warning shots & disabling fire & safely disabled all 3 outboard engines on the go-fast. A boarding team from GALLATIN was deployed in its over-the-horizon pursuit boat. Once on scene with the go-fast, they attempted to establish the nationality of the vessel, but the suspected smugglers would not provide one. As a result, the vessel was determined to be stateless & subject to US jurisdiction. A boarding commenced & the 4 men were eventually taken into CG custody. The crew of the GALLATIN recovered 68 of the bales dumped by the smugglers, each weighing between 5Ø & 75 lbs, which tested positive for cocaine. Drug seizure totals in the Caribbean were nearly doubled this year from the previous year, with 57,ØØØ lbs of cocaine & 23,5ØØ lbs of marijuana being stopped in 38 separate smuggling events also resulting in 124 arrests. These successful counter-drug operations are the result of coordination by Joint Interagency Task Force South, DEA, FBI, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Customs & Border Protection, the Depts of Justice, State & Homeland Security, & the cooperation from several international partners. HITRON is based in Jacksonville & this year accounted for the seizure of about 47,ØØØ lbs of cocaine & 5,6ØØ lbs of marijuana in both the Eastern Pacific & the Caribbean Sea.
ALAMEDA The CG responded to a report of several people in the water near Carquinez Bridge after reportedly hitting rocks near dike 9 in Mare Island Straits. CG Station Vallejo arrived on scene of the partially submerged 25-ft cabin cruiser where crewmembers recovered 5 people from the water & transported them to emergency medical services waiting at California Maritime Academy. The 2 men & 3 women were treated for minor injuries. None of the victims were wearing life jackets. The incident is under investigation.
JUNEAU The CG received a Mayday broadcast from the captain of the fishing vessel Susan Ann, reportedly taking on water & needing rescue assistance in Chatham Strait. The 2-person crew aboard the Susan Ann couldn't control the engine room flooding. The pair donned survival suits before contacting the CG. An UMIB originated from Juneau & a vessel from the nearby Chatham Cannery responded, arriving on scene with the distressed vessel in minutes. An Air Station Sitka Jayhawk rescue helo, equipped with dewatering pumps, also launched to assist. Additionally, Angoon SAR also overheard the call for help & responded with a rescue boat & dewatering equipment, arriving on scene with the CG helo just as the 48-ft Susan Ann began sinking near Catherine Island. Both persons from the sunken vessel safely boarded their skiff & rowed away from the sinking vessel. The Angoon rescue boat crew took both survivors aboard & reported them in good condition. However, due to heavy seas & 15 kt winds in Chatham Strait, the rescue boat couldn't transport the survivors back to Angoon. Instead, the survivors arrived at a nearby beach where they boarded the CG helo for transportation back to Sitka. The Angoon rescue boat marked the sunken vessel with a crab buoy & collected as much debris as possible. The Susan Ann contained about 2ØØ gallons of diesel fuel. An investigation by the CG Marine Safety Office (MSO) here is pending.
JUNEAU The CG here received a report from the CG MSO communication centre in Valdez of a debris field in Surprise Cove, Prince William Sound. The captain of the Wild Thing discovered a debris field consisting of coolers, 6 gas cans & a tote bag. He also found a receipt in one of the coolers giving the location of store where someone purchased a cooler. With that information & the name of the owner stenciled on the cooler, the CG command centre here continued to investigate. CG SAR coordinators called the cooler's owner who reported that her husband was hunting with 3 other people near Perry Island in Prince William Sound. With that information, the CG requested a civil air patrol flight, originally scheduled for a patrol in Prince William Sound, to divert & assist in the search. They also diverted a Jayhawk rescue helo & crew from Kodiak. The helo arrived on scene & located the hunters on the beach. The hunters reported that their boat became swamped & sank. They attempted to float the vessel & searched for a tow back to Whittier. They declined the helo crew's transportation offer back to Whittier. The owner’s spouse secured the salvage motor vessel Sanctuary to assist the stricken vessel & pick up the hunters today.
BAY HARBOR, MN The CG worked with a local fire dept today to rescue 3 people from the water after their 42-ft catamaran capsized about 2 miles N of Bay Harbor. A Good Samaritan reported seeing the capsized vessel, Starry Night, to CG Station Charlevoix. The CG also received a signal from the catamaran's Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), a device that sends a signal when entering the water, indicating a possible distress. A 41-ft utility boat from Station Charlevoix & a rescue boat from the fire dept were despatched to the location. Divers from the fire dept boat found the boater trapped inside the cabin. The divers were able to get the survivors to the surface where a rescue swimmer from Air Station Traverse City assisted the boaters onboard the CG boat. The boaters were then transported back to Station Charlevoix, where they were treated by local EMS. All 3 survivors suffered mild hypothermia.
SAN DIEGO The CG commissioned the 87-ft CGC Petrel at CG Activities San Diego. Petrel is the 5Øth vessel of the Marine Protector Class of CG Patrol Boats & is the last to be built in the class. Built in 2ØØ2, by Bollinger Shipyards Inc. of Lockport, La, this vessel employs the latest technological advances in navigation & marine technology. A fully integrated electronics suite coordinates radar, satellite navigation, gyrocompass, autopilot & computer generated charts to form a compact but user-friendly command & control system for all of the ship's missions. A unique stern launch system is employed to deploy the small boat. This new system is vastly superior in safety, speed & manning requirements. Even in inclement weather, the small boat can be safely launched & recovered with a minimal crew on deck. Due to multiple 2-person staterooms, the crew can be any combination of male or female, a first for this size vessel. Petrel is one of the most advanced Coastal Patrol Boats in the world & will help the CG remain the world's premier maritime organisation well into the next millennium.
ASTORIA Four people owe their survival to lifejackets after their boat capsized, sending them into the ocean for 45-minutes near Bayocean Peninsula Beach. A call was received by CG Station Tillamook Bay that 1 person had drifted ashore in a lifejacket from a capsized boat. The person indicated there were 3 other people still missing. A CG 47-ft motor lifeboat from Station Tillamook Bay was diverted & rescued the 54-year old master of the vessel from the surf. He had been in the water for 45-minutes & was showing symptoms of hypothermia. The Tillamook County Sheriff's Dept also responded & found the 2 remaining boaters safely on the beach. Local emergency medical technicians transported the 4 boaters to Tillamook County General Hospital where they where treated & released for mild to moderate hypothermia. Prior to the boat capsizing the onboard global positioning system failed & the boaters became disoriented & lost in the dense fog. While trying to find the south entrance to the bay, the craft was turned directly into the beach surf, which capsized the boat. No distress call was received prior to the boat capsizing. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were light winds, dense fog with visibility of less than 50-ft, water temperature of about 55 deg, & surf between 6-to-8-ft. Boaters are reminded that life jackets, as in this case, could greatly increase chances of survival during a maritime accident.
LOS ANGELES Two South Bay men caught with 5Ø Mexican citizens crammed on a luxury yacht in the Los Angeles Harbour pleaded guilty to conspiracy to smuggle illegal immigrants into the US, entering their pleas less than 2 months after they were intercepted on a 44-ft French-built boat dubbed C'est La Vie with the immigrants squeezed into a cabin built to sleep 8 people. Both men signed agreements last month with prosecutors to admit their culpability. One man said that he had been promised money, but never received it. Immigration officials said immigrants told them that they paid $3,ØØØ each in smuggling fees to the scheme's organisers. While officials have said they hope to learn more about the smuggling operation, the men did not agree to cooperate in the investigation.
CGC CASCO Any former crewmembers who would like to be placed on a mailing list of shipmates & activities that includes a reunion every several years, contact: Gordon C Kelly, P O BOX 141, Lyon, WI 53148.
MEMBERSHIP There are 623 members in the COAST GUARD CLUB. DE AD4PT 73 & Semper Paratus.
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