>In the Bering Sea, 17 Oct 2008


Photo – what it looks like in 30 knot winds at sea.

The morning was dedicated to all divisions completing their monthly Damage Control preventative maintenance. On board a ship, the rule is that damage control is everyone’s responsibilities. As a result, every division onboard the ship has a specific area of responsibility to cover. That includes ensuring the fire extinguishers are weighed and tested, fire hoses and nozzles inspected, etc. You never know what you might encounter at sea so you always have to be ready and make sure your equipment is ready.

1300: BONG – BONG – BONG – BONG “This is a drill, this is a drill, Set the Rescue and Assistance Bill, the F/V Dublin Empress (fictional name) is taking on water and is unable to contain the flooding. Make preparations to launch ACU 1; there will be a mission briefing on the bridge in 5 minutes. All hands man your Rescue and Assistance Billets.

So starts another drill. Through this drill, the Cutter specifically practices rendering aid to another vessel at sea. For this particular scenario, the training team devised a fictional vessel taking on water. The idea is to have our cutter provide a team to go over and help the crewmembers save their ship. We deploy our small boat, extra pumps, plug and patching kits… and of course our Damage Control Assistance team of FN Gage Venable and EM3 Dubord. The boat then made an approach, on the fictional vessel (located at our stern), safely transferred the equipment and successfully stopped the flooding. Mission Accomplished – another vessel saved.

From Cmdr. Andy Sugimoto, Coast Guard Cutter ACUSHNET (WMEC 167) Commanding Officer