U.S. COAST GUARD-PAGE 2 of 2
The U.S. Coast Guard is a Military, Maritime, Multi-Mission Service under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security dedicated to protecting the Safety and Security of America.
Photo By: Dick Lund
                                              About the Ninth Coast Guard District
The boundaries of the Ninth Coast Guard District encompass the shores of the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

The Great Lakes basin covers 295,000 square miles of land and water, including 3,800 miles of American shoreline and 1,500 miles of international shoreline. Twenty-five million American citizens rely on the lakes for their recreation and their livelihoods. Economically, it is one of the most important areas in North America.

There are more than 2,200 active-duty members, 190 civilians, 1100 reservists, and 4,200 auxiliarists serving the needs of the public in the 9th District. The district facilites include 92 units in all, of which 48 are stations (with 188 smallboats) dotting the shoreline from Alexandria Bay, New York, to Duluth, Minnesota. There are also two air stations, one air facility, 10 cutters and two LORAN stations. These units are tasked with traditional Coast Guard missions such as boating safety, military readiness, search and rescue, aids to navigation, icebreaking, law enforcement, environmental protection and port security.

While the boating season on the lakes has traditionally been thought to be short because of the harsh winters, SAR units, aided by both reservists and auxiliarists, handle close to 7,500 cases annually. Two stations were ranked among the Coast Guard's five busiest and were credited with saving more than 500 lives in 1994.

To educate and assist the district's rapidly growing boating population, the Auxiliary is relied upon very heavily. With more than 2.3 million of America's 11.5 million recreational boaters residing here, the Auxiliary provides a valuable contribution to the success of the Coast Guard's SAR and boating-safety missions.

To facilitate commerce on the Great Lakes during the winter months, the Ninth District employs five 140-foot ice-breaking tugs, the 290-foot icebreaker Mackinaw, and three 180-foot icebreaking buoy tenders. During an average winter season, the cutters, working closely with the Canadian Coast Guard, clear the way for approximately $62 million worth of commercial cargo. During the winter of 1993-94, when all five Great Lakes were frozen over for the first time since the 1970s, they kept commerce flowing with an estimated cargo value of $124 million.

Marinette Marine Corporation just completed delivery of the next generation of Coast Guard buoy tenders.  Two new classes of cutters, the 225-foot Juniper class and the 175-foot Ida Lewis class,  were built in Marinette, Wis., and have replaced the Coast Guard's aging World War II vintage vessels.  The Ninth District has received two of the 16 Juniper class cutters, the Hollyhock and the Alder.  In addition, 14 Ida Lewis cutters were built and have been distributed through out the Coast Guard.  These multi-mission cutters are state-of-the-art vessels complete with the latest technology.

The district maintains more than 3,300 buoys, navigational lights and fixed aids throughout the Great Lakes. There are also eight marine safety offices, nine captains of the port and three marine safety detachments. Additionally, the district has a combat-trained port-security unit which can be deployed to any location in the world. Such was the case during the Persian Gulf War and the Haitian operation "Uphold Democracy."
The Coast Guard needs the assistance of the public to reduce hoax calls.  This can be done by:

Removing radios or locking them up when not in use

Teach children that unauthorized use puts people in danger

Report suspect hoaxers; U.S. Coast Guard Tipline 1-800-264-5980
Cold Water Safety
Cold Water Safety Preventing Hypothermia, fall and Winter Boating Tips from Boat U.S.    The end of summer doesn't have to mean the end of boating.  Many boaters find that fall and even mild winter days are uncrowded and beautiful out on the water.  But though the air may be pleasant, the water will be colder, and cold water kills.  According to the nation's largest organization of recreational boaters, Boat U.S., many drowning deaths are caused by hypothermia - abnormally low body temperature -- not by water in the lungs.      Cold water robs the body of heat 25-30 times faster than air.  When someone falls overboard, his or her core temperature begins to drop within 10-15 minutes, the water doesn't have to be icy - it just has to be colder than the victim to cause hypothermia.     The more energy someone spends after going overboard, the more quickly his or her body temperature drops, reducing their survival time.  Wearing a life jacket adds to survival time in the water, not only by minimizing motion needed to keep afloat, but also by helping insulate the body.  If a person suddenly finds himself or herself in the water, the most important thing to do is to stay calm and minimize movement.  "Flailing around causes a body to lose heat faster."  Head, neck, sides of the chest and groin are the body "hot spots" that lose heat most quickly and need to be protected the most.  The best way to prevent hypothermia is to stay in the boat, but should a person fall overboard, these tips can help increase their chances of survival don’t take off your clothes. Instead, button, buckle, zip and tighten collars, cuffs, shoes and hoods.  If possible, cover your head- in cold water about half of heat loss comes from the head.  Devote all your efforts to getting out of the water.  Act quickly before you lose full use of your hands.  Board a boat, raft, or anything floating.  Turn a capsized boat over and climb in; remember most boats will support you even when full of water.  If you can't right the boat, climb on top of it.  Don't try to swim, unless it is to reach a nearby boat, another person or a floating object you can climb or lean on.  By releasing warm water between your clothing and your body and sending "warm" blood to your extremities, swimming can cut your survival time by as much as 50 percent.  Even if it's painful, remain as still as possible.  Intense shivering and severe pain in cold water are natural body reflexes.  These will not kill you, but heat loss will.  If you're with other people, huddle together for warmth.  Otherwise, hold your knees to your chest to protect your trunk from heat loss, and clasp your arms around your calves.  For a free brochure about preventing and treating hypothermia, call the Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water at 1-800-336-2628 or order a copy online at boatus
The United States Coast Guard has:
Established and enforced Safety and Security zones during high visibility events;

Conducted Air patrols over the lakefront and rivers;

Performed land, water, and air patrols of chemical facilities, oil refineries, and nuclear facilities;

Augmented with reservists and Coast Guard Auxiliary, a volunteer organization, to create a unified Coast Guard in Chicago;  
   Integrated new homeland security patrol boats at Stations Calumet Harbor and Wilmette Harbor;
    Established a Port Security Committee consisting of Federal, State, and local agencies as well as industry to develop port security plan;
  Track all tows carrying certain dangerous cargos;
  Instituted an “Eyes on the Water” Campaign, much like a Neighborhood Watch, for the public to assist in the War on Terrorism
Worked with local law enforcement agencies to share intelligence, resources, and training, including on barge inspections on our river systems.

The Coast Guard reminds everyone to be proactive in the war on terrorism. Anyone who sees suspicious activity along our waterways should report it to the nearest Coast Guard unit or call 1-800-424-8802.

Individuals who wish to assist the Coast Guard in securing the homeland and are interested in opportunities with the Coast Guard’s active-duty or reserve forces should call 1-877-669-8724. Anyone who wished to volunteer should contact the Coast Guard Auxiliary at 1-877-875-6296.
CLEVELAND - The U.S. Coast Guard would like to officially introduce the new “Defender Class” Response Boat located at Station Cleveland Harbor.  This new modern Response Boat is the first of its kind in the Cleveland area and will be used to support the United States Coast Guard’s continuing search and rescue missions and to protect our nations ports and waterways.  The Defender Class boats will replace nearly 300 non-standard shore based boats and provide standardized platforms through the Coast Guard. 

The Defender Class includes specific Maritime Homeland Security requirements that were incorporated into the design after 9/11, including boat speed of 40+ knots, capability to mount light machine guns, transportable via C-130 aircraft and full cabin to protect crews from elements on extended patrols.  This new Response boat is an extremely capable multi-mission platform and will be used in your area for Homeland Security, Search and Rescue and law enforcement.
            Coast Guard's first MIA/KIA in Vietnam KIA to be buried
Seattle area Coast Guardsman to return her MIA bracelet worn for 15 years
Almost fifteen years ago, a 30-year-old Coast Guard Petty Officer Theresa Hubbard ceremoniously placed an 8-oz silver metallic engraved bracelet bearing Coast Guard Lieutenant Jack Columbus Rittichier’s name and the June 9, 1968; date (the day that the helicopter he was piloting was shot down) upon her wrist. Hubbard, the daughter and wife of a Coast Guardsman, dutifully wore the keepsake with the hope and determination to keep alive the memory and spirit of the missing 34-year-old pilot.

Hubbard, now 33 years old and a Coast Guard Lieutenant herself, has set the slightly tarnished, nicked and well-worn bracelet aside with the intention of returning her treasured keepsake to the Rittichier family, Maggie and Dave, who are busy preparing for their son’s long-awaited funeral. Lt. Rittichier, who flew his last mission as part of a Coast Guard/U.S. Air Force Exchange Program, will be buried at a portion of Arlington National Cemetery known as Coast Guard Hill, an area normally reserved for the top officials next month after spending more than thirty-five years as the U.S. Coast Guard’s only Vietnam War missing in action (MIA) and the service’s first killed in action (KIA).

“Leave no man behind,” is the creed by which many Americans, like Hubbard, wear their MIA bracelets.  “I never thought I’d be taking it off,” said the brunet Hubbard as she sat next to her family photos in her Seattle Coast Guard office.  “I purchased the bracelet about 15 years ago…about the same time I joined the Coast Guard Reserves,” she reminisced holding the simple band in her hand.  Nearby sat another picture, that of actor John Wayne, one of Hubbard’s heroes based on the military roles he played.  “I come from a very patriotic family and wearing the bracelet seemed like the right thing to do,” she said adding with pride that her son is now serving in Iraq with the U.S. Army.  She explained that she was moved to make the purchase of the simple aluminum band from a veteran’s group in North Carolina; it was the only one available for the Coast Guard.  She added that she will now begin wearing a new MIA band in support of another missing service member.

Wearing of the bands began in the late 1960s in an attempt, by what were mostly college students, to raise awareness of the American prisoners and missing from the Vietnam War; but the program “officially” began on Veteran’s Day in 1970. Lieutenant Rittichier, although flying inland, was participating in a traditional Coast Guard mission, Search and Rescue.  He was flying as a member of the United State’s Air Force’s (USAF) 37th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron, when he was shot down. 

A large, multi-force mission had been ongoing to rescue a downed pilot who had landed near the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Rittichier, piloting an HH-3E Jolly Green helicopter, was approaching the downed pilot to attempt the rescue when his helicopter, Jolly Green 23, lost use of its left engine to enemy gunfire and shortly thereafter crashed in what was reported to be a completely engulfing fireball. Rittichier was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for gallantry.

There were three other servicemen onboard the JG23 that day: Capt. Richard C. Yeend, USAF; Staff Sgt. Elmer L. Holden, USAF; and Sgt. James D. Locker, USAF. The crash site of JG23 was discovered in 2002, with repatriation of the pilot’s remains taking place earlier this year.

Rittichier's efforts as one of 12 Coast Guard pilots who flew with the US Air Force during 1967-68, represents only one of a myriad of  multi-mission capabilities the Coast Guard offered in Vietnam and continues to offer today.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, the United States Coast Guard deployed to the Persian Gulf and provided critical harbor defense services that not only protected offshore oil wells, but allowed for safe and secure navigation of the allied navies through the ports and waterways of Iraq, to include providing clear passage for critical ship-borne humanitarian supplies to reach the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr.  The Coast Guard has been involved in every major conflict in the United States since World War I.

On October 6, 2003, at 1300, the remains of Lt. Rittichier will be buried. Rittichier was the first Coast Guardsman killed in action in Vietnam, and the only Coast Guard member unaccounted for after the war's end. The Jolly Green 23’s crash site was discovered on November 9, 2002, and the remains of the four crewmembers were repatriated on February 14, 2003.
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Coast Guardsman received the first Purple Heart awarded to a member of his service since the Vietnam War and promised to wear it in honor of a comrade he could not save.  A suicide attack claimed the life of Petty Officer Nathan B. Bruckenthal of Dania Beach, the first Coast Guard member killed in action since Vietnam. In addition, two naval servicemen were killed and three others wounded.  The men were on a naval inspection team that spotted an unidentified dhow in the northern Arabian Gulf near the oil terminal. As their boat approached the smaller one, the dhow exploded, flipping the naval craft over.
May 7, 2004

Pall bearers fold the national ensign during DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal's interment ceremony. Bruckenthal was the first Coast Guard casualty in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
For more than 210 years, the Coast Guard has served the nation as one of the five armed forces. Throughout its distinguished history, the Coast Guard has enjoyed a unique relationship with the Navy. By statute, the Coast Guard is an armed force, operating in the joint arena at any time and functioning as a specialized service under the Navy in time of war or when directed by the President. It also has command responsibilities for the U.S. Maritime Defense Zone, countering potential threats to American's coasts, ports, and inland waterways through numerous port-security, harbor-defense, and coastal-warfare operations and exercises.

Today, U.S. national security interests can no longer be defined solely in terms of direct military threats to America and its allies. With the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the U.S. has fully realized the threat faced on the home front from highly sophisticated and covert adversarial groups.  The Coast Guard has assumed one of the lead roles in responding to these unscrupulous attacks upon our nation by providing homeland security in our nation's harbors, ports and along our coastlines.  Commercial, tanker, passenger, and merchant vessels have all been subject to increased security measures enforced by the Coast Guard.

In the immediate days after the destruction of the World Trade Centers and Pentagon, over 2,600 reservists were recalled to provide operational and administrative support.  Reservists and active duty Coast Guard members worked in unison to provide additional manpower to clean-up efforts in New York City and heightened port security in the ports of Seattle, Los Angeles, New York and Boston to include the implementation of "sea marshals."  As the nation re-defines national security and government leaders organize the Homeland Security Council, the Coast Guard will continue its efforts to reduce the risk from terrorism to commercial and passenger vessels traversing U.S. waterways and designated waterfront facilities.

The Coast Guard's national defense role to support U.S. military commanders-in-chiefs (CINCs) is more explicitly outlined in a memorandum of agreement signed by the Secretaries of Defense and Transportation in 1995.  Four major national-defense missions were assigned to the Coast Guard. These missions--maritime intercept operations, deployed port operations/security and defense, peacetime engagement, and environmental defense operations--are essential military tasks assigned to the Coast Guard as a component of joint and combined forces in peacetime, crisis, and war.

In recent years, the nation's CINCs have requested--and have been provided--Coast Guard cutters to conduct maritime-intercept operations, carry out peacetime-engagement missions, and perform other essential warfare tasks for all three forward-deployed Navy fleets: the Fifth Fleet in the Arabian Gulf/Middle East; the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean; and the Seventh Fleet in the Western Pacific. In addition, Coast Guard cutters have recently supported NATO operations during the Kosovo crisis. However, the Coast Guard deepwater fleet is aging and in urgent need of replacement.

The U.S. Coast Guard's physical assets (cutters, aircraft, and shore facilities) have been undercapitalized for years. Only two of the 39 countries throughout the world with similarly sized navies or coast guards have an older physical plant. To remedy the situation the Coast Guard has initiated the Deepwater Capabilities Replacement Project. Instead of proposing a traditional one-for-one asset-replacement program, the Coast Guard is working with industry to develop a system of systems in an effort to ensure effective--and cost-effective--interoperability among all of its deepwater assets and with the other four armed services. The eventual Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) will encompass all of the Coast Guard's major cutters, aircraft, and sensors, providing the capabilities required to perform all of the Coast Guard's essential deepwater missions. IDS procurement is designed to achieve maximum operational effectiveness at minimum total ownership costs.

Outside of U.S. coastal waters, the Coast Guard assists foreign naval and maritime forces through training and joint operations.  Many of the world's maritime nations have forces that operate principally in the littoral seas and conduct missions that resemble those of the Coast Guard.  And, because it has such a varied mix of assets and missions, the Coast Guard is a powerful role model that is in ever-increasing demand abroad.  The service's close working relations with these nations not only improve mutual cooperation during specific joint operations in which the Coast Guard is involved but also support U.S. diplomatic efforts in general:  promoting democracy, economic prosperity, and trust between nations.
The damage estimates at the time were estimated at $45,000 to $60,000 the repairs took place over a two week that bean on May 24, 2004.  The United States Coast Guard held a hearing at the Ninth District Headquarters in Cleveland.  The findings determined that the Hollyhock Commanding Officer Lt. Cmdr. Mike McBrady on March 25 improperly put
his crew and vessel into hazardous position while navigating, which had violated portions of the United States Coast Guards Uniform Code of Military Justice.  The violations were cited as the primary cause that resulted in the collision with the 1,000-footer MV Stewart J. Cort.  Lt Cmdr. Mike McBrady initially received a letter of admonition that was
placed in McBrady permanent service record.  McBrady was initially returned to command of the Hollyhock, unusually not being relieved of his duties.  At the time of collision Lt. Cmdr. McBrady was on the bridge at the time of the collision.  Several months later Rear Admiral Papp relived McBrady and temporarily assigned Capt Triner as the Hollyhock Commander.  (Read follow-up article located on Dave’s Coast Guard Page one)
Times Herald
PURPOSE: The purpose of this protocol is to establish service wide policy for SAR operational commanders and Coast Guard emergency medical services responders(Lifesavers and Emergency Medical Technicians) and medical officers on not startingand or not continuing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 

BACKGROUND: During search and rescue missions or MEDEVACs Coast Guard SAR responders often recover victims of injury or medical emergencies who are incardiopulmonary arrest (not breathing and do not have a pulse). The standard protocols ofcivilian EMS systems usually require starting CPR in the field and rapidly transporting these patients to a hospital for continued resuscitation efforts. Recent medical research on emergency cardiac resuscitation conducted by national healthcare organizations,including the American Heart Association, have made new recommendations regarding

“Do Not Start CPR” and “Stop CPR” guidelines. The focus of these guidelines is to prevent nonbeneficial and ineffectual interventions, which pose risks to rescuers and unethical futile efforts, defined as less than one percent survival probability. Medicalethicists and EMS experts have agreed that physicians may withhold futile interventions

deemed unlikely to benefit patients even when requested by patients or families. These policies have been clearly established and endorsed for EMS services, which have wilderness or remote locations with prolonged response and patient transport times. CoastGuard’s maritime SAR operations usually involve prolonged response intervals, which

exceed the accepted response intervals for successful resuscitation. In addition, the Coast Guard has increased operational risks for boat and aircrew SAR responders, which must also be weighed with the probability of patient benefit when making operational riskmanagement decisions. Risks include aircraft and vessel mishaps, personal injury, and bloodborne pathogen exposures. There are also the emotional risks to rescuers and families associated with futile resuscitation efforts. These unique risks requiremodification of civilian protocols and take precedence over local, regional, and state EMS protocols. Analysis of numerous operational mishaps and near misses during futile rescue attempts has shown that a service wide policy is needed to prevent recurrences. 

ACTION: A Coast Guard Emergency Medical Services protocol with criteria for not starting and or not continuing CPR has been developed and is posted on this web site.  Operational commanders with SAR responsibilities should ensure that all potential SAREMS responders and SAR OPCEN watch standers are familiar with this protocol.

MLC(k) should ensurethat all medical officers are familiar with the protocol.
The United States Coast Guard Cutter SUNDEW, “The Superior One”, was launched from Marine Iron and Shipbuilding Company, Duluth, MN on February 8, 1944 and was commissioned on 24 August 1944.  The SUNDEW called many places home before returning to Duluth almost a quarter century ago.  Her first homeport was Manitowoc, WI.  There she serviced Aids to Navigation and conducted icebreaking and search and rescue missions.  In 1947, SUNDEW saved the lives of 28 crewmen on the freighter JUPITER, and towed the 3000-ton vessel to safety.  In 1950, SUNDEW was transferred to Milwaukee, WI where she served for 3 years.  From 1953 to 1958, Sturgeon Bay, WI was home to SUNDEW.  During these years, SUNDEW conducted annual breakouts for ports along Lake Michigan and freed numerous vessels beset in ice, including the fishing vessels Green Bay, Ellison Bay, and Jackson Harbor who were in danger of the ice crushing their thin hulls.  SUNDEW was moved to Charlevoix, MI in 1958.  While in Charlevoix, SUNDEW’s missions expanded to include lighthouse maintenance--taking fuel, supplies and personnel to area lighthouses. 

In 1958, SUNDEW engaged in one of her most noteworthy missions when she was sent to the aid of the Carl D. Bradley who had cracked in two and was sinking.  SUNDEW braved waves of 30 to 40 feet as she rescued the only two survivors of the 35-man crew from a wooden life raft where they endured the elements for nearly 14 hours.  During the fall of 1962, a 40-foot patrol boat from the Charlevoix Lifeboat Station began to take on water during a storm.  The 3-man crew was forced to beach themselves on the north shore of Little Traverse Bay.  SUNDEW was dispatched to tow the boat off the beach, hoist it aboard, and return it to Charlevoix.  In the winter of 1962, as SUNDEW was returning to Charlevoix after retrieving Aids to Navigation, she was ordered to change course and assist a 64-foot tug that had grounded itself on the southwest side of Beaver Island.  After snapping three tow hawsers SUNDEW finally pulled the tug free and towed it to Detroit. 

In 1963 SUNDEW got underway on a mercy mission of transporting five tons of bailed hay and a large supply of grain to Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan for a herd of 150 Herefords, a type of hardy red beef cattle, who’s food supply was running dangerously low.  It took Sundew 11 hours to break its way through thick ice from Charlevoix to the harbor of St. James, a distance of 32 miles, where the cutter unloaded the cattle’s cargo.  In 1964 the CGC MESQUITE, another 180’ buoy tender, ran aground on a reef south of Escanaba, WI.  The tug John Purves was sent to free the MESQUITE but ran aground on the same reef.  The Coast Guard then dispatched SUNDEW and she was able to tow the tug off the reef with no damage.  Together the tug Purves and SUNDEW pulled the MESQUITE to safety, and SUNDEW escorted the Purves as it towed MESQUITE to Escanaba for repairs of the 12 foot gash that flooded the engine room and other sections of the cutter.  During the ordeal, SUNDEW shared food and other supplies with the 45 crewmen aboard MESQUITE after learning food storage compartments were damaged in the grounding. 

In February 1971, when commercial sources failed, SUNDEW was again called upon to bring emergency supplies to Beaver Island.  This time in the form of 2100 gallons of gasoline, 3600 gallons of fuel oil, 20 one-hundred pound tanks of propane gas, and a new radiator for the diesel engine which powered the island’s electrical generator.  In fall of 1971, SUNDEW and a helicopter from Air Station Traverse City were tasked to search for the 9 crewmembers and retrieve the wreckage of a U.S. Air Force B-52 Bomber that crashed into northeast Lake Michigan during a practice bombing mission.  In the 60’s and 70’s, one of Sundew’s spring duties was to take crews to seven lighthouse stations in Northern Lake Michigan and Lake Huron that could not be manned during winter freeze-over. 

Early in 1973 while SUNDEW was on one of these many logistic runs, she was diverted to the Straits of Mackinac to assist four steamers that were beset in moving ice fields.  In that same season and again in the Straits of Mackinac, SUNDEW assisted the Cutter SOUTHWIND in freeing the steamers Voorhees, Fraser, Ferbert, Olds, and the S.T. Crapo after they too became stuck in ice.  From August 1977 to August 1978, SUNDEW underwent major renovation at Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD.  There she was given new, more powerful Main Diesel Engines, a larger shaft and propeller, and an upgraded main motor with additional thrust bearing support to facilitate the icebreaking mission.  These changes made SUNDEW the most powerful 180-foot buoy tender in the fleet. 

In 1980, SUNDEW returned to Duluth, MN where she continued her distinguished service to the public.  SUNDEW sailed in salt water for the first and only time between 1987 and 1988.  She wintered over in the Caribbean where she conducted search and rescue, law enforcement operations, and serviced Aids to Navigation.  Early spring in 1991, SUNDEW freed the icebound M/V’s Incan Superior, Tarantau, Winnipeg, and Lee A. Tregurtha, clearing a path for them to enter Duluth Harbor. 

In 1999, SUNDEW conducted a rescue mission in Superior Harbor.  Two people were caught in shifting ice in the harbor and local authorities were unable to assist.  Because it was after the workday, SUNDEW got underway without its usual compliment, proceeded to the scene and rescued the two people from an oncoming winter storm.  SUNDEW has also conducted many scientific missions on Lake Superior.

SUNDEW assists in the maintenance and monitoring of weather observation buoys for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Today brings closure to the life of one of the Coast Guards most durable assets.  In its 60 years of service, SUNDEW has met every challenge head on.  She will remain in the Duluth area, a museum, where she will continue to educate the public about life aboard a Coast Guard Cutter, just as she has educated those who have proudly sailed with her for the last 60 years.
Guardians of the Great Lakes
United States 9th District Coast Guard Great Lakes Assets
Sootoday trashes Captain Triner
Taking an official news release from the United States Coast Guard the editor of Sootoday David Helwig adds a caption above the news release “Boozy Captain Boozy captain of 'Smackinaw' icebreaker may lose job” which resulted in editorial being written by active member’s of the United States Coast Guard  who stated

“As a member of the United States Coast Guard, I am privileged to know many of my brothers and sisters in arms; we are a small family.  As a recent Great Lakes expatriate, I was privileged to sail with Captain Triner on a short cruise aboard the old Mackinaw.

My personal conclusions about the man have been echoed by the testimony of many Coast Guardsmen who have served with him in past units, and by sailors aboard the new Mackinaw.”  “Summing up with the following comments; “while he may no longer have command by some unfortunate turns of events and by the hard-earned and thankless prerogative of the top echelons of Coast Guard leadership, he remains an officer and a gentleman of remarkable character and leadership capacity.  

As a man of strength and moral character who places the welfare of his people above his own, he seized full responsibility for the unfortunate event at Grand Haven.” With regard to both, I would have recommended that some real investigative journalism have been undertaken, vice repetition of rumors.

In the end, the aforementioned article is a shallow and watered-down snippet of fact that is already widely known, in possession of a libelous and unprofessional title.”

LTJG Name Removed
Executive Officer,
                                                                                            SooToday Response Excerpts

Sootoday Editor David Helwig responded back with these remarks:   “Thank you for your advice."

It shall be given all of the consideration it deserves.”  “The aforementioned article was an exact transcript of a news release issued by the United States Coast Guard, with headline added by”  ”Please be advised that functions under Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and has no accountability to the USCG under any Canadian or U.S. statute for journalism accurately and lawfully conducted.”

He infers that they can print an item any way they wish, this is not journalism it is Journalistic lynching 
“If you wish to preserve the honour and good name of the United States Coast Guard, may I suggest that harassing members of the international media, who faithfully publish your many public safety advisories and other news releases to the boating public, is unlikely to achieve measurable results.”
Since when is an opinion and direct knowledge of the man she defended “harassing members of the international media.”
“I propose that you might instead consider urging your fellow officers to try real hard to comply with alcohol regulations as a swell example for the enlisted ranks.
The incident referring to alcohol use has not been completed and in no way claims he was ever under the influence while onboard.
Getting them to avoid smacking vessels worth as much as $90 million into break walls, 1,000-foot freighters and other hard objects might be a jim-dandy idea, too.”
Accidents happen, that is why they are called accidents, also lets remember that the men and women of the Untied states Coast Guard are a critical member of the U.S. armed forces who are fighting and yes dying as they defend the U.S. and many other countries from the terrorist attacks  that took place on September 11, 2001.  Trashing a good name such as Capt. Triner, by titling an article “Boozy captain of 'mackinaw' icebreaker may lose job,” does not reflect fair and accurate journalism.  I do not believe that relieving Capt Triner was appropriate, but let’s also remember on December 12, 2005; Captain Triner immediately stood in front of Grand Haven Officials and stated “I take complete responsibility for what has occurred.”  That statement reflected the true professional that Captain Triner and the men and women of the United States Coast Guard.  SooToday David Helwig could possibly learn from an editorial written by Gordon Sinclair that editorial is located at

I have the utmost respect for the men and women of the United States Coast Guard and thank you for your service to our nation and protection of our waterways including the help displayed time again and again with the dramatic Rescues recently seen during and after Hurricane Katrina.
The U.S. Coast Guard is one of five branches of the US Armed Forces, and falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard is the country's oldest continuous seagoing service with responsibilities including Search and Rescue (SAR), Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE), Aids to Navigation (ATON), Icebreaking, Environmental Protection, Port Security and Military Readiness. In order to accomplish these missions the Coast Guard's 38,000 active-duty men and women, 8,000 Reservists, and 35,000 Auxiliary’s serve in a variety of job fields ranging from operation specialists and small-boat operators and maintenance specialists to electronic technicians and aviation mechanics.

  The Coast Guard, during an average year, will:
    Conduct 109 Search and Rescue Cases
      Save 10 lives Assist 192 people in distress
      Protect $2,791,841 in property
      Launch 396 small boat missions
      Launch 164 aircraft missions, logging 324 hours
      Board 144 vessels
      Seize 169 pounds of marijuana and 306 pounds of                   cocaine worth 9,589,000
      Intercept 14 illegal migrants
      Board 100 large vessels for port safety checks
      Respond to 20 oil or hazardous chemical spills                         totaling 2,800 gallons
      Service 135 aids to navigation
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VISITS PRIOR TO REBUILD in 2007      "2673"
Source:  USCG
Times Herald a Great online      Newspaper must see
Great Lakes Coast Guard Vessels Armed
Great Lakes Coast Guard's 10 vessels have been equipped with two mounted machine guns per vessel.  The new guns are capable of firing 600 rounds per minute, although the vessels have carried weapons in the past it mainly consisted of small arms weapons.  Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, along with the inclusion and new role the Coast Guard has been given in regards to our Homeland Security the need for the inclusion of the new mounted weaponry.

In the event of a terrorist attack, the Coast Guard will be able to rapidly deploy and provide the necessary protection needed. The United States Coast Guard is and always has been part of the United States Military.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The new Coast Guard Cutter MACKINAW (WLBB-30) breaks through ice during its first winter in the Great Lakes.  New Mackinaw and its crew are currently undergoing testing and training.  New Mackinaw will be commissioned into full Coast Guard service in June 2006. (March 6, 2006) Source:  Photos by Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City
Grand Havens Coast Guard Station equipped with two (2) 47 foot Motor Life Boats the station is located on the south side of the channel approximately 3/25 quarter mile from Grand Haven Pier

Is the U.S. Coast Guard finally receiving the recognition it deserves from the public?
Still a long way to go

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Coast Guard Live Fire Zone
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States military, the same way as the U.S. Marines, the Navy, and the Army.  In wartime the Coast Guard sees the same type of action as its counterparts, currently Coast Guardsman are serving in Iraq.  In addition to the role of the United States Coast Guard in times of war they are a more diversified Military Organization charged with law enforcement responsibilities, Water way Management, Search and Rescue, and take part in Research Projects.

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States Coast Guard has been charged with the largest military role for Homeland Security. The United States Coast Guard today, has been reorganized under the Department of Homeland Security; the Coast Guard is and remains the Military Branch charged with the Safety and Protection of all U.S. Citizens.  Since September 11, 2001, the upgrade of equipment, training, and recruitment has finally been addressed and subsidized. The United States Coast Guard protects the waterways, shipping lanes, shipping and shipping harbors. In addition the Coast Guard plays a significant role in the fight against drug trafficking, intercepting illegal aliens from other countries who attempt to enter the U.S. illegally.

The United States Coast Guard provides protection, search and rescue, icebreaking duties just to name a few of the duties here on Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and many channels and rivers in the Great Lakes region. Prior to September 11, 2001, Coast Guard Personnel serving on the Great Lakes, where many Freighters come from many other Nations, Nations that are known today as threats against the United States.  Coast Guard Vessels on the Great Lakes carried gun lockers that contained only shotguns, 9mm and 45mm guns, police sectors are better armed by officers and weapons. That are carried to major incidents such as a standoff.

As part of the rebuilding, reorganization, and the replacement of world war two vessels, the Coast Guard is finally being equipped with machine guns and other necessary tools and Weapons which are needed to protect and defend Potential terrorist targets.

The Coast Guard has set up 34 areas to be utilized for live fire practice zones, many States border the Great Lakes such as Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin, just to name a few in addition Canadian provinces also border the Great Lakes. With the acquisition of both new equipment and Vessels such as Rapid Response boats, the new multi mission Mackinaw and the 225ft. Alder, and Hollyhock, along with other assets owned by the Coast Guard, the decision was made was long over due to appropriately outfit these vessels with machine guns, and other defense armament necessary to provide Coast Guard Personnel to respond to critical security situations, and provide a means of defense.

What is very ridiculous is the vast waters of the Great Lakes, that recreational boaters, and environmentalists, have delayed the deployment of the Live Fire Training Zone citing concerns over spent shells, claiming that they could cause contamination to fish, plant life, and would interfering with pleasure boating. This is so ridiculous, in one live exercise trial by the Coast Guard they notified all craft continuously prior to and every ten minutes during a live exercise fire without incident. The Coast Guard utilized radar and in the air surveillance demonstrating their diligence in maintaining safety.

These live fire training zones are critical to the training of Coast Guard personnel, training essential for providing security to shipping lanes, the Mackinac Bridge, shipping ports, the Sault Locks. These areas cannot be protected with handguns and shotguns, if a terrorists event took place any where on the great lakes, do you really believe that the aggressors are going to be unarmed or simply give up because they see a Coast Guard vessel?

Spent ammunition will not harm the fishing industry, the shipping industry, the pleasure boat industry or plant life, if the Coast Guard abandons these training exercises, especially following all of the media coverage regarding their rancor over the live fire zones media coverage of this issue has taken place overseas, just how long will it be before a terrorist group strikes if the coast guard is not adequately armed and trained?

That decision made to appropriately arm the men and women who serve in the United States Coast Guard, was not made haphazardly, a lot of planning, and a lot of preparation has gone into selecting the appropriate areas to conduct training exercises. Appropriate security needs to be maintained as provided by the Coast Guard during the 200 Super Bowl held in Detroit Michigan.

Now Canadian officials and others are complaining about the Coast Guard taking tne necessary steps to provide security in U.S. waters.  Keep in mind all the salt water freighter that come through the Welland Canal and have deposited zebra mussels and many other species.  Target practice and dispensed shell are not going to harm U.S. or Canadian Waters of the Great Lakes.

The United States Coast Guard has gone out of its way to provide the reasoning and rationale for the creation of these 34 zones, by utilizing an interactive web site, public information meetings in a public statement. On September 11, 2001 united states coast guard provided security following the attacks in New York at the World Trade Center both from the water ant the air. The events of September 11, 2001 demonstrate the need for Coast Guard Personnel to be trained to respond to the potential threat, in order to achieve this on the Great Lakes they must be trained appropriately with the assets provided.
                                 Public Needs to Support the U.S. Coast Guard

Coast Guard boats and cutters on the Great Lakes carried nothing more powerful than 9 mm guns and shoulder-fired M-16s.  Today, 80 to 90 percent of Coast Guard ships longer than 25 feet are equipped with M240B machine guns - a belt-fed 7.62 mm weapon. The new guns have a range of about 2 miles. All the Coast Guards nine Great Lake cutters and vessels at its 47 small boat stations on the Great Lakes are now armed.  The new guns are part of standardization since Sept. 11, 2001

The Coast Guard is now prepared for any needed response if a terror event happens. The Coast Guard needs to conduct live-fire exercises so they are prepared for whatever event may occur. If the Coast Guard is not prepared in the event of a terrorist attack and it happens, there are going to be questions about why they weren't prepared similar to the questions raised over the course of the 9-11 Commission, which placed blame on poor preparation.  The U.S. Coast Guard Stations throughout the Great Lakes regions are charged with the multi-responsibilities as well as its “Homeland Security.”

The U.S. Coast Guard is and has been a branch of the the United States Military.

The 9th District Coast Guard is located through out the Great Lakes which are surrounded with ports, locks, and shipping that is critical to navigation and commerce and with the Canadian borders is vulnerable to terrorist who are entering the U.S. for the direct purpose of causing terrorism such as the group that was caught back in 2000.

In another incident a man jumped a fence at the Sault Locks and boarded a freighter, which was locking thru the Sault, the individual was apprehended, the incident demonstrated that had the intruder been outfitted with explosives or other weapons, or attempted to hijack a freighter or cause harm to the mariners on board.  The Coast Guard today is able to appropriately respond and is finally properly armed. 

In this post 9-11 world the Coast Guard has been providing homeland security to those who use the lakes, ports, rivers, channels, and locks. Both Ports and small and large communities line the Great Lakes, as we have seen with the recent airline threats involving explosives that were foiled at the last moment, Terror groups have demonstrated that they are committed to future Terrorist attacks.  These groups are desperate to attack the United States and are looking for any lapse in security to exploit.  We need our military to be prepared and trained to defend lives, assets, and commerce.  The Coast Guard is the most critical military branch charged with the security of our Homeland, and its waterways and ports.

Stop and think of the environmental impact of an organized attack on a tanker or freighter on Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, as well as are rivers and channels.   The Great Lakes is the largest fresh water supply in the world.  Many States, commerce and economies are tied into the Great lakes.  The Coast Guard is tooled to respond to any type of situation, the men and women who are serving our country deserve our great thanks for their readiness to defend this great nation.    

By:  Dave D.
Webmaster of Dave’s EMS Headquarters
                        History of Weapons and Live Fire on the Great Lakes by Dr. William H. Thiesen
                                  U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Historian
                                     War of 1812/Rush-Bagot Treaty
The recorded history of the Great Lakes has been one replete with arms and weapons held by civilian and military personnel of Canada and the United States.

During the War of 1812 several naval engagements between British and U.S. naval forces took place and the U.S. Navy hired shipbuilders to build warships at Sacketts Harbor, New York, to provide the vessels necessary to carry on these naval campaigns. At the conclusion of hostilities, British and American governments exchanged diplomatic notes commonly known as the Rush-Bagot Treaty (1817) in which they agreed to limit their maritime forces on the Great Lakes to a few vessels not to exceed "100 tons burden and armed with one 18-pound cannon."

In Canada, the Provincial Marine, which never disappeared completely, evolved into the waterborne arm of the Canadian Militia and by 1855, provision was made for the Marine's personnel to be trained in ". . . the use of small arms, as in the management of gunboats and vessels and the working of the great guns aboard vessels." 1

                                     Weapons on the Great Lakes
There has been an armed presence on the Great Lakes since the early nineteenth-century. In the United States, a succession of U.S. revenue cutters patrolled the Great Lakes before the Civil War.

Typically, these vessels carried small arms, such as rifles and handguns, and the crew periodically trained in the use of these weapons. These cutters included the USRSC BENJAMIN RUSH and later the ERIE. It's reputed that one of these early cutters carried cannon captured from General Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga. In his book on the early Revenue Service cutters, author Don Canney indicates that USRSC ERIE carried an eighteen-pound pivot gun. It can only be assumed that the gun crews for such weapons received regular training.2

The U.S. Navy reinstated its presence on the Great Lakes in the 1840s after the British government armed two steamers due to the eruption of Canadian rebellion. In 1844, the Navy's iron gunboat USS MICHIGAN began serving out of Erie, Pennsylvania. Like the earlier Revenue Service cutters, it was equipped with small arms and an eighteen-pound gun. The MICHIGAN provided an armed presence in the Great Lakes through the Civil War and up to the gunboat's
decommissioning in 1912.3

                                     World War I Patrols and Prohibition
Arms and weapons on the Great Lakes remained prevalent during World War I and in its aftermath. After the decommissioning of USS MICHIGAN, the Navy began to station greater numbers of armed naval assets in the Great Lakes region. In 1911, the Navy acquired the steamer EASTLAND, equipped it with three- and four-inch ordnance and renamed it the USS WILMETTE. This vessel served out of Chicago through World War I and, in 1921, used its main guns to sink the trophy U-boat UC-97 off of the coast of Illinois. The gunboat WILMETTE also served out of Chicago during World War II. In addition to the WILMETTE, the Navy supported a small fleet of patrol boats for securing the inland waterways and the U.S. Army posted armed guards to secure the American locks at Sault Ste. Marie from sabotage.4

During World War I and the interwar period, there continued to be an armed Coast Guard presence on the Great Lakes. The Coast Guard armed the cutters MACKINAC and MORILL to patrol the St. Mary's and Detroit rivers for would be saboteurs. During Prohibition, the Coast Guard armed its patrol craft with small weapons in its campaign against the smuggling of illicit liquor from Canada. High speed rum running boats were often heavily armed and, on more than one occasion, the Coast Guard and state police forces had running gun battles with these high speed smugglers.5 
World War II Warships on the Great Lakes

During World War II, the Great Lakes experienced a major build-up in naval armaments. Local shipbuilders located throughout the Great Lakes and inland waterways contributed greatly to the war effort by producing large numbers of relatively small naval vessels, including submarines, destroyer escorts, submarine chasers, supply vessels, minesweepers and patrol craft. In addition, naval training took place on board warships stationed in the Great Lakes. For example, fully armed naval aircraft would take off from Glenview Naval Air Station in Illinois and practice take offs and landings on board the small aircraft carriers SABLE and WOLVERINE. President George Bush, Sr., received his carrier training at this base and President Gerald Ford served there as well.6
The Navy's Cold War Fleet on the Great Lakes

After World War II, the U.S. Navy stationed Naval Reserve vessels on the Great Lakes, which became known as the "Corn Belt Fleet." Between 1950 and 1970, the Navy deployed the Great Lakes Reserve Destroyer Division Fleet of destroyer escorts and patrol craft. These craft were located at ports, such as Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and they included the USS DANIEL A. JOY (DE-585), USS PARLE (DE-708), USS PORTAGE (PCE-902), USS HAVRE (PCE-877), and USS AMHERST (PCE(R)-853). And from 1972 to 1976 the Navy deployed to the Great Lakes the Coastal River Division (CRD) 21, which consisted of fast patrol boats and ASHVILLE-Class patrol gunboats.7
Live Fire on the Great Lakes

Records documenting live fire exercises that date before World War II are difficult to locate; however, it most likely took place whenever possible to hone the skills of Coast Guard and Navy crews serving in cutters, patrol craft and small warships. During World War II, the Navy established a gunnery range in the middle of Lake Michigan. At the time, this area was well-known to mariners who plied the Great Lakes. During the mid-1950s and the 1960s, the Navy's "Corn Belt Fleet" gave its crews gunnery practice using the same range maintained by the Navy during World War II. By May 1970 the last of the Corn Belt Fleet, the USS PARLE, was retired and though the gunnery range remained on the charts, it became dormant until the formation of Coastal River Division 21. In 1972, CRD 21 reopened the gunnery range for practice and an appropriate Notice to Mariners (NOM) was published specifically warning mariners about use of the range by the naval vessels of CRD 21. CRD 21 discontinued use of the gunnery range in 1976, when the unit was disbanded.8

The armed forces have also been stationed on the shores of the Great Lakes for well over a century and state police forces, the Navy, Coast Guard (and its predecessor services) and other branches of the military have required their personnel to receive live fire training in the Great Lakes area whenever possible. Small arms training had been conducted informally through the nineteenth century by the Revenue Cutter Service and the Lifesaving Service.  Land-based live fire ranges began to be established in the Great Lakes region in the early twentieth century. For example, in 1911 the U.S. Navy established the North Chicago-based Great Lakes Naval Training Station and provided small weapons training for its recruits at a range on base. In 1907, the state of Ohio appropriated $25,000 for the construction of Camp Perry on a mile-long stretch of shoreline along Lake Erie. Since that year Camp Perry has supported annual marksmanship tournaments in which Coast Guard personnel participate. The Coast Guard also established its own ranges, such as the one at Grand Haven, Michigan, where its personnel learned how to handle handguns, rifles and small machine guns. The knowledge and skill gained by Coast Guard personnel from live fire training has contributed significantly to the service's standards of marksmanship and safety.9
Today's Weapons and Live Fire Training on the Great Lakes

There are no longer any active warships stationed on the Great Lakes; however, the Coast Guard began arming its forty-one foot utility boats for law enforcement purposes in the early 1980s. This armament was limited to the M60 machine gun and smaller arms. Recently, the older M60 was replaced by the more modern M240B as the main armament for Coast Guard patrol and support craft. In addition, larger Coast Guard vessels such as buoy tenders and the ice breaker MACKINAW are equipped to support fifty caliber machine guns. These weapons require an experienced crew to operate them; hence, there will always be a need for live fire training as long as the Coast Guard's mission requires their use.  (10)
1)  Web site:
2)  Donald L. Canney, U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935 (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1995).
3)  Bradley A. Rodgers, Guardian of the Great Lakes: The U.S. Paddle Frigate Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 1999).
4)  Alex R. Larzlere, The Coast Guard in World War I: An Untold Story (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2003).
5)  T. Michael O'Brien, Guardians of the Eighth Sea: A History of the U.S. Coast Guard on the Great Lakes (Government Printing Office: Washington, D.C., 1976).
6)  George J. Joachim, Iron Fleet: The Great Lakes in World War II (Wayne State University Press: Detroit, Mich., 1994). Also see web site:
7)  Web site:
8)  Web site:
9)  William R. Wells, II, Shots That Hit: A Study of U.S. Coast Guard Marksmanship, 1790-1985 (U.S. Coast Guard Historian's Office: Washington, DC, 1993).
10) Web site:
The U.S. Coast Guard
A total of seventy-six “Charlies” has been delivered to the USCG fleet to date and are now operating out of seventeen Coast Guard air stations (CGAS) nation-wide: nine to CGAS Atlantic City; eight to CGAS Miami; six to ATC Mobile and CGAS New Orleans; five each to CGAS Savannah and CGAS North Bend; four each to CGAS Detroit, CGAS Los Angeles, CGAS Borinquen and CGAS San Francisco; three each to CGAS Port Angeles, CGAS Houston, CGAS Barbers Point, CGAS Traverse City, CGAS Corpus Christi and CGAS Kodiak; two to CGAS Humboldt Bay; and one to Coast Guard Aviation Repair & Supply Center in Elizabeth City.
Increased command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) and Common Operating Picture (COP) capability, as well as             improved night/all-weather capability with radar and Electro-Optic/Infrared sensors
Improved Vertical Insertion and Vertical Delivery (VI/VDEL) capability – the ability to deliver a 3-person interagency counter-terrorism or response team 50NM           from a US shore or a Coast Guard flight deck equipped cutter.
Airborne Use of Force (AUF) package that will provide the capability to fire warning and disabling shots from the air
Allows cutter to apply force against a maritime target up to 150 NM away
Enhanced radar and optical sensors will allow Common Operational Picture/MDA data exchange capability
Asset pairing of a flight deck equipped cutter with a deployed MCH will allow the Commanding Officer of the ship to utilize the air asset to investigate, classify,              and identify a threat and then to vector the cutter to the target
Detection and defense capabilities against chemical, biological, or radiological attack
Meets requirements associated with cutters deploying on defense operations and peacetime military engagements, and may also be used to meet non-                        Deepwater aviation demand missions currently being conducted by existing HH-65s
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      This Page was Last Updated: August 1, 2016
      2nd USCGC Waesche  
Bollinger Shipyards Inc. landed a contract valued at $88 million over the next decade to build a new class of faster Coast Guard patrol boats.  Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen announced the award Monday at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Fast Response Cutter Sentinel Class patrol boat, or FRC, is a 153-foot cutter capable of speeds of more than 28 knots.  If all options on the contract are exercised, a total of 34 boats could be built with a total value of $1.5 billion over a period of six to eight years.
$88 million Contract from Coast Guard Awarded to Bollinger Shipyards
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                                  U.S. Coast Guard to Discontinue Monitoring
                                       of 121.5/243 emergency beacons
Cleveland -Updated 06-25-2010-The Ninth Coast Guard District is urging mariners and aviators to start the year off right and make the switch to a digital emergency beacon.  Beginning Feb. 1, 2009, the U.S. Coast Guard and other search-and-rescue personnel will only receive distress alerts broadcast using digital 406 MHz Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons. Search and rescue satellites will no longer process older model analog EPIRBs that only transmit on 121.5 or 243 MHz.

The 406 EPIRB's signal is 50 times more powerful than the 121.5 beacon's, allowing satellites to better detect its signal and provide a more accurate search area for rescue crews.  Satellites are not capable of distinguishing between beacon and non-beacon sources using analog frequencies, making only about one in five alerts actually coming from a beacon. Many false alert signals come from ATMs, pizza ovens and stadium scoreboards.  With analog beacons, the only way to determine if an alert is an actual emergency is to send rescue crews to the area, which costs thousands of dollars, takes resources away from actual emergencies and puts the lives of responders at risk needlessly.

Furthermore, a GPS-embedded 406 EPIRB can shrink a search area to about 100 yards and can also pinpoint the position of a distressed mariner within minutes. Additionally, the number of false alerts with digital beacons is significantly lower than analog beacons.  "The signal from any emergency beacon activated on the U. S. waters of the Great Lakes and connecting waterways, or on land close to these waters, is automatically routed to the Coast Guard's Rescue Coordination Center here," said Mr. Jerry Popiel, Acting Chief of the Ninth Coast Guard District Incident Management Branch. "At the RCC, our round-the-clock duty officers assess the signal, determine the appropriate course of action and then dispatch a helicopter, boat or ship to the location to perform a rescue."

EPIRB owners are required by law to provide emergency contact information and a vessel description by registering their beacons with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This lets search and rescue personnel quickly confirm if a distress signal is real, and identify who and what type of boat or aircraft to look for. It also means accidental activation of an EPIRB may be resolved quickly with a phone call to the owner.

"We (the Coast Guard) pride ourselves on treating every person who is possibly in distress as we would one of our own family members," said Popiel.  "It's an important part of our ethos as search-and-rescue professionals.  And for our own family, we would insist that they register their beacon properly and know how to use it in time of distress."

EPIRB users must register their beacons in the U.S. 406 MHz Beacon Registration by logging in to beaconregistration.  Registering your EPIRB is free and easy to use.
Beacon registrations must also be updated at least every two years or when information such as emergency contact phone numbers and other vital information changes. Registration information is only available to authorized search and rescue personnel.
                                                     To see how the Search and Rescue Satellite works CLICK HERESource:  U.S. Coast Guard
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United States Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City Michigan   was recently recognized for rescues in North Dakota Floods
Muskegon, Mich. In 2009, the U.S. Coast Guard station in Muskegon received a new boat that will allow it to better serve the lakeshore.  Crews from the Muskegon station drove the 41-foot utility boat to Muskegon from Detroit last week. The boat will take the place of a smaller, less capable utility boat. The Muskegon Coast Guard station is responsible for maintaining aids to navigation devices in West Michigan.

The new bigger boat will allow the Coast Guard to stay out longer on search and rescue missions. It can also pull bigger boats and more effectively handle rough waters.
Muskegon Coast Guard Unit gets New Boat
CG Helo Rescue.MOV
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Photo's of the 2009 Grand Haven MI Coast Guard Festival
The Coast Guard Cutter SUNDEW (WLB 404) now decommissioned after 60 years of service.  The Sundew served as a Museum in Duluth Minnesota, for a short period following being replaced by the new 225 foot Buoy Tender Alder.

The SUNDEW is one of two 180-foot IRIS Class sea-going buoy tenders built in 1944 that are still in service. The Marine Iron & Shipbuilding Company in Duluth built SUNDEW and, along with another Duluth-based shipyard, Zenith Dredge Company, constructed 37 other 180-foot seagoing buoy tenders from 1942-1944.   She was launched on February 8th 1944 and commissioned on August 24th 1944.  The original cost for the hull and machinery was $861,586.
The former based Port Huron based Arcaia retired
  The Bristol Bay Photographed here  removing the old         41footers as the 47 footers began arriving
HH-65 C
HH-65 C
Marinette Marine Corp. Awarded additional Contract by U.S. Coast Guard
In 2010 Marinette Marine has received a contract for nine more U.S. Coast Guard boats valued at $19.5 million.
The company currently has 106 of the patrol boats under contract, Marinette said Wednesday in a news release, with half of the boats scheduled to be built in Green Bay and the other half at a Kvichak Marine Industries shipyard in Seattle.

The boats are part of a multi-year contract that could be worth up to $600 million for 250 boats, according to Marinette Marine.  Delivery of the nine boats is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2011.
Winter Buoys in Muskegon MI
Retired Mackinaw Pointe Buoy
A buoy in the Straits of Mackinaw during a Sept 5th Gale wind
Source:  U.S. Coast Guard
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Photo By:  Dick Lund (c)
Public Needs to Heed Rip Current Advisories
Over the past several months their have been a number of deaths from drowning, near drowning, and injuries caused by strong under tow/rip tide conditions throughout Lake Michigan and the other great lakes.  In Holland MI, in a single day twenty-eight (28) rip current rescues took place, by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department Marine Units,which were assisted by Local Fire Agencies.  A number of swimmers in this incident were transported to local hospitals suffering from minor injuries and exposure.  As a result the Coast Guard ordered Holland State Park beaches closed.

On Wednesday August 10, 2011 two men were swept away as they swam in seas consisting of four (4) to six (6) feet waves in  the Michigan County of "Allegan," at the Saugatuck beach along Lake Michigan.  The U.S. Coast Guard and County Marine Units have been busy due to individuals not heeding rip current warnings and advisories.
Click to Expand the above pictures of U.S. Coast Guard Responding to distress call
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The Muskegon Maritime Museum is adding 2 New Displays, below are a retired Coast Guard 36 Footer Life Saving Boat, and a former Patrol boat being rehabilitated
The above photos of the United States Coast Guard RARITAN (93) taken in late August 1976 during the Grand Haven MI Coast Guard Festival which included featuring "Tall Mast Ships" commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Bicentennial.
Great Lakes Coast Guard Awaits arrival for Ice Breaking Assistance
12-01-2011  The U.S. Coast Guard is sending from Rockland Maine, the Thunder Bay, which is a 140-foot icebreaking tug, is enroute to Cleveland, where the Icebreaker will assist current assets throughout the Great Lakes.  This marks the third year that assistance  of an Icebreaker has been diverted to the Great Lakes.  Thunderbay will take part in a five (5) month deployment to assist in keeping shipping channel open and assist with vessels tranist waterways which is critical to the economy and commerce.  ...
Photo Credit:  Lt. Nicholas Barrow-U.S. Coast Guard
December 2011 Starts out busy for U.S. Coast Guard Air Stations
A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew airlifted an 82-year-old Beaver Island, Mich., resident who suffered an injury after reportedly falling down some stairs Friday December 2, 2011.  Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City sent a HH-65C Dolpin rescue helicopter and crew to airlift the patient to Harbor Springs, Mich., and where she was turned over the patients care to EMS Personnel who then transported her to a local hospital in Petoskey, Mich.
Coast Guard rescue helicopter along with other Coast Guard assets were dispatched Saturday December 3, 2011 after a small plane, its piolt and passenger were resported missing after taking off from St. Ignance MI, enroute to Mackic Island.  On Sunday morning December 4, 2011, a Coast Guard aircrew searching for the men picked up a signal from the planes emergency locator transmitter. Just before noon, the wreckage of the plane was located approximatley 100 yards from the shore three miles north of St. Ignace, Mich.  Both the 25 year old Pilot and the passenger were found dead by Michigan State Police dive team members. 
UPDATE: 03-2012--The Thunder Bay, a 140-foot icebreaking tug, arrived December 12, 2011, in Cleveland, for the third year the Coast Guard has diverted assets to the Great Lakes to assist with Ice Breaking duties.  The Rockland, Maine-based Thunder Bay has returned home following six months of assisting with Ice breaking Duties
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Coast Guard New M240B Armament
Marinette Marine recieves 90 Million Contract from the U.S. Coast Guard for replacing its aging fleet of boats with faster, higher-tech 45-foot boats
02-2012  Coast Guard has placed orders worth 600 million dollars for 166 45-foot boats medium fast response boats, that have been used for both rescue work and law enforcement duties.  Both Marinette Marine and another company located in Kent, Wash, have each received orders each receiving contracts to build the much needed and proven 45 footers.  The new boats have mounted weapons, night surveillance gear and the latest available radar and communications equipment.with delivery of at least 40 boats, being built by Marinette Marine, are scheduled to begin in early 2013.
  The U.S. Coast Guard Traverse City Michigan Air Station is in Danger of Cut's due to Presidents Obama's Budget, and Threatens the Closure of the Seasonal Muskegon Air base
03-2012  President Barack Obama's 2013 budget proposal eliminates the air facility in Muskegon and reduces USCG Air Station Traverse City's helicopter fleet by two.  Just as the Airstation is preparing to replace it's short range Search and Rescue HH-65C Helicopters with the newer MH60. 

President Obama's budget would threaten the shipping industry on the Great Lakes with fewer Helicopters to respond to shiiping emergencies, water rescue, even based on increased rip tide related deaths over the past three years. 

Both of Michigans Democratic Senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow have sent letters to the appropriations committee requesting that the senate reject these changes.  Besides the reduction of two helicopters President Barack Obama's 2013 budget proposal also eliminates the air facility in Muskegon.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Michigan has significant Great Lakes shoreline as well as approximately one million registered boaters.  USCG Air Station Traverse City currently has five helicopters. If the proposal passes it would leave them with the three new larger MH70 Helicopters.

Please use the links located on this site page to email your represenatives and congress to stop this dangerous budget redution.
The 600 foot combination tugboat/barge Invincible Hard Grounded outside of Manitee MI
On Saturday afternoon April 14, 2012 The 600 foot combination tugboat/barge Invincible Hard Grounded outside of Manitee MI channel on Lake Michigan causing the vessel to take on water a approximately two gallons per minute.  The ship requested immediate assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard.  Who responded Station Grand Haven 47 footer.  Currently the Coast Guard has pumped all the water out and is standing by as the vessel's owner is sending divers to evaluate the damage.  The 17 member crew remain on board and no injuries were sustained in the grounding..
The United States Coast Guard prepare for busy 2012 Memorial Day Weekend and the thousands who will be in and on the Great Lakes