Deck Watch takes a look at history

The Revenue Cutter Rush fires a salute on Independence Day, 1901 at Sitka. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Deck Watch explores a bit of Coast Guard history in it’s weekly radio show. Click here to listen!

In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the “Act to Create the Coast Guard,” an act passed by Congress on Jan. 20, 1915 that combined the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service to form the Coast Guard.  The Coast Guard, however, still considers the date of the founding of the Revenue Cutter Service, Aug. 4, 1790, as its official birthday, even though the Lighthouse Service, absorbed in 1939, is even older than that, dating to Aug. 7, 1789. Under the new law the Coast Guard officially became “part of the regular military establishment of the United States.”

Here’s what else happened in Alaska during the week:

Jan. 23 – Coast Guard watchstanders received a request for a non-maritime medevac of a 70-year-old Angoon man with abdominal pains. Commercial resources were unable to respond due to low visibility. An Air Station Sitka Jayhawk helicopter crew was able to medevac the man and take him to emergency medical personnel in Sitka. 

Jan. 24 – The 58-foot fishing vessel Kimberly ran aground in Portage Bay about 110 miles west southwest of Kodiak with four people aboard.  An Air Station Kodiak Jayhawk helicopter crew launched Tuesday night but due to high winds, gusts exceeding 90 knots, the crew was unable to conduct safe hoisting operations.  After several attempts, they crew was forced to return to the air station for fuel. At about 10 a.m. Wednesday, the four men were safely hoisted and taken to Kodiak emergency medical personnel.  The four survivors were exhibiting hypothermic conditions and were taken to Providence Kodiak Island medical center for further care.

Jan. 25 – The fishing vessel Heritage hailed Sector Anchorage watchstanders stating their vessel was taking on water with seven crewmembers aboard. Five crewmen were able to embark their life raft and two crewmembers entered the water after their vessel quickly sank. Since a Jayhawk helicopter crew was transiting to the Kimberly crew, it quickly diverted to assist the Heritage crew.  The hoist of the fishermen in the water was quickly executed and the crew of the good Samaritan fishing vessel Tuxedni rescued the five from the life raft.  All survivors were reported to be in good condition and did not need medical attention.

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