Henlyís neurologist has diagnosed him as having peripheral neuropathy, which
can come from being exposed to cold.
I recall, it was the last run and shut down of the three offshore lights, Poe
Reef Light, off of Cheboygan, Spectacle Reef Light, off 40 Mile Point, and
Martins Reef Light, off Cedarville. I had gotten all personnel off all the
lights except for Martins Reef. We lost one engine during the removal of
personnel off the last Light, the one close to Cedarville entrance, so I called
in to the station and advised them that we were experiencing icing and running
on one engine; that was the last contact I had with anyone as all communications
were lost at that time.
was getting dark and freezing, and we were not making much time with one engine.
I believe my engineerís name was English, EN2. As the darkness grew, I
remembered that all the buoys in the Cedarville Islands, called the Snows, had
been removed for the winter and it was all rocks if you didn't stay in the
channel. But as luck was with me, I had been the one who pulled the buoys and
reset them for two years prior to being transferred to Mackinac Island, running
the 45-ft. buoy boat, under the Group Sault Ste Marie, where I had been
stationed for approximately three years, so I decided our best bet was to try
for Cedarville and hope for the best. We made it inside and were out of the
For the rocks, taking our time and feeling our way through the little islands, I
saw lights at a dock after about three miles so headed for the pier. Luck was on
the owner was a retired
Coast Guard Captain whose name I cannot remember. Seemed like it was around 10
PM as they were getting ready to retire to bed and were shutting down the lights
when they saw us tying up to their dock. Surprised, they invited us in to thaw
out. His wife cooked eggs and bacon and fed us all. I called the station as soon
as possible and informed them of our situation. I was told that they had
helicopters from CG Air Station Traverse City searching for us as we were very
Captain called the sheriff who sent a deputy to take us to a motel for the
and the engineers off the lights spent most of the night working to get the
second engine back on line with success. Still with no communications, we headed
out towards home, Mackinac Island; thatís when we ran into heavy seas, fog,
and icing conditions. We had set it up that BM1 Rambus was to come out to
intercept me keeping the Island in sight, The last steamer of the season picked
me in the 40-footer and Rambus in the 36-footer up on radar, and directed him to
intercept me, which saved us both because Rambus was icing by that time and I
was way the heck off course.
the help of the steamerís radar, and communications with Rambus, I figure I
would been between a rock and frozen hard place.
like I had about twelve personnel on board and no Boatswains Mate to relieve me.
When we made it to the dock, I remember docking with my elbows as my hands were
so cold they would not move right and when we got inside the Station they had to
cut the hood off my head so I could talk to Lt. Luedke, Group Commander
Charlevoix. I was young at that time, thought I was tough, and didn't need any
I should have so it would have been documented. This was one (probably the
worst) of many incidents of this nature during my eight years in the Ninth CG
District, and four years at Mackinac Island and St. Ignace as Officer in Charge
at both Stations.
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