The High Speed Fire Drill Caper

By Louis Moore


It was approximately August of 1987, I can't exactly remember the year but I am sure it was in August. We were on a routine patrol of the mighty East River, Harlem River and Hudson River. We were checking out all of the piers and writing down all the ships that were in port. It was a beautiful day for a patrol. We had left the station around 0845. It was now around 1100 and we still had to patrol the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. As we came around the bend from the Hudson River meeting the East River, we met up with the CG 32318, a 32 foot fiberglass fire fighting machine. That boat could pump out the water. As you could guess, they challenged the CG 41411 to a water battle.

Yeah I know !! It sounds unbelievable but we took the challenge. We went round and round. I know we took the worst of it, but we were having fun. Man was that ever fun, until we heard the CO's voice coming over the radio ordering "CG 41411 and CG 32318 to return to station ASAP."

As we approached the pier we could see all of the personnel of Station New York out in the parking lot. Hell, I thought we had done something good.

The CO called every one of us to his office.

He started off by telling us that he had the most confidence in all of his crews and he just knew we weren't just horsing around out there. I had no idea what he was talking about. So I asked him and here is what he said, "up in the World Trade Center there was an Army Captain who saw what was going on. He called in and reported that he had seen two Coast Guard  boats in the Hudson River just playing around and spraying each other with water and trying to ram each other. He wanted to know what was going on out there.

No one said a word. 

He asked three times what we were doing out there. The last time he asked he threatened us with Captain's Masts ifs we didn't answer.

Well he wasn't taking away anything I had earned so I just opened up my mouth and started talking and here is what came out, "Sir, if you are talking about the two boat crews out there spraying each other and passing each other in close quarters, WE WERE ONLY DOING HIGH SPEED FIRE DRILLS. We were not playing around."

Don't even ask me because I could not in a million years tell you where I came up with that lame excuse.

He replied, "we should try and get that implemented into our training manual. that sounds pretty good, HIGH SPEED FIRE DRILLS, I like that."

Return To Coast Guard Stories