Almost 53 years ago, on 18 FEB 52, one of the, if not the greatest Coast Guard rescue happened. The tankers PENDLETON and FORT MERCER both broke in half during a fierce nor-easter off the coast of Cape Cod. MLB's were dispatched from STA CHATHAM (2) and STA BRANT POINT; they went out into 70 knot winds and 60 foot seas to look for survivors and to try to keep themselves afloat and alive. CG 36500 with BM1 Bernie Webber, EN3 Andy Fitzgerald, SN Richard Livesey and SN Irving Maske aboard, lost the windshield and compass while clearing the Chatham bar but they headed off-shore anyway, hoping to locate the stern of the PENDLETON. BMC Bangs, EN1 Haynes, BM3 Ballerini and SN Ciccone had earlier got underway with CG 36383 enroute to the bow of the PENDLETON. Meanwhile the 36' MLB from STA BRANT POINT from Nantucket slugged its way through the mountainous seas with a crew headed by BMC Ralph Ormsby and EN1 John Dunn. CG 36500 found the stern of the PENDLETON and one by one the 33 men on board climbed down the Jacobs ladder and were plucked to safety aboard CG 36500 except for the last man, who jumped too soon and was swept under the hull of the PENDLETON. Thirty-six men on a thirty-six foot MLB is very hard to believe! The very overloaded CG 36500 somehow made it back to Chatham and the other two MLB's also returned after many hours.

EN3 Jack Eckert ( was on the USCGC EVERGREEN and the day after the thrilling rescue Jack and others spent many hours bouncing around in a 26' lifeboat looking for survivors. They didn't find any but Jack ended up in the hospital with pneumonia.

On 18 JAN 05 a new four million dollar facility at STA BRUNSWICK (GA) (RON STA GNAT BAIT) was dedicated. OIC, BMCS John Sesta (former XPO USCGC POINT TURNER) will be leaving STA BRUNSWICK this summer to take command at STA WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH (NC). Listed in BMCS Sesta's awards was a nomination for the MUNRO AWARD. If only the Navy League had known about his exploits while collecting rockweed in Polpis Harbor, Nantucket he would won the Award hands down.

CWO4 Doug Cooper (Ret) is part owner of a small airplane and works on a ferry part-time. Doug was doing a cross country when he stopped for breakfast at the Nantucket Memorial Airport.

SGT Dan Herman, who was stationed at the airport after 9/11, is back from the war zones and is currently at the State Police Academy.

A padded STA BRANT POINT SN, Joe Woekel, did an outstanding job as Santa Claus at the Anglers' Club children's Xmas party.

The Nantucket Chamber (Pot) of Commerce has been boycotted for not recognizing the great Main Street Xmas tree the crew from STA Brant POINT displayed over the holidays.

CWO4 Robert Buotte, OIC, STA BRANT POINT, 1968-70, reports that he and his wife Carol are living in Viera, FL.

CWO4 Tim Mooney (Ret) is the winner of the final Woody's Tournament, with a score of 9,450.8 points. It has been a wonderful 17 years of fishing, but participation has declined a lot and it was decided to retire the Trophy and mail it to Woody. CDR Marc Woodring is also retired and is living in Juneau, Alaska.

CAPT Pam & CAPT Doug Russell want to return to Seattle when their tours in DC are wrapped up in 2006.

CAPT Mark (Ret) & Roberta Fisher are still having fun living in the DC area and they have a new daughter-in-law.

The USCGC CHASE reunion is scheduled for 29-30 APR 05, in Atlantic City. For more info go to

The Republic of Nantucket got clobbered with 10" of very wet and heavy snow on 26 DEC and then another 24" of drifting snow on 23-24 JAN. Both storms caused thousands of large tree limbs and trees to fall plus a bunch of out of town wires and poles. During the second storm the large underwater cable that brings us our electricity from Harwich failed in the Harwich transfer station and the whole island was without electricity for at least 9 hours. At least those without generators had no electricity; of course Cabin Boy has a generator!

USCGC IDA LEWIS (RONC MOTHER OF ALL LIFESAVERS) stopped by a couple of weeks ago to break some ice. Nice job - thanks!

Nantucket had/has a special one week deer season 6-12 FEB in an attempt to cut down the deer population, which is way too much for the 45 square miles that we have. There are an estimated 3,500 deer on Nantucket, and they are a host to the deer ticks which bring us humans, dogs and cats Lyme disease, and a couple of other tick transmitted diseases which I can't spell. It is a tough call...

Fair winds and following seas,


YN1/SK1 Dan Kelliher, USCG (Hon)

I had the distinct honor and privilege of introducing SN Irving Maske to the Gathering  during the September 2003 Western Great Lakes Coast Guard Opening Prayer at the Best Western Motel at Marinette, Wisconsin. He was warmly welcomed - It was a proud day for all to welcome this genuine Coast Guard Hero. - Jack (

Postscript:  I know many of you know about this, It was quite a feat of heroism. And deserves another mention. to honor all concerned. Jack Eckert is a personal friend and member on the Board of Directors of the Sea Vets. And a good old Mariner.......  I am proud to be his friend!!!  
Larry Stefanovich - Chairman, Coast Guard Sea Veterans of America