Deck Watch remembers the Coast Guard on D-Day

Coast Guard at Normandy - Omaha Beach
A Coast Guard-manned LCVP from the U.S.S. Samuel Chase disembarks troops of Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division at Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944. Coast Guard photo by CPHOM Robert F. Sargent.

The 68th anniversary of D-Day was June 6 and Deck Watch takes a look at the Coast Guard’s contribution to the Great Crusade at the beaches of Normandy. To listen to this week’s show click here. For more on the Coast Guard’s role in Normandy click here.

May 31 – On Thursday, Sector Juneau received notification that the motor vessel Fugly was aground and taking on water, with two people on board, near West Indian Pass in Southern Lynn Canal. The Fugly got off the rocks and onto the beach in Indian Cove in Auke Bay before sinking. A good Samaritan vessel delivered a pump and the Fugly got underway with the assistance of the Rusty Nails and under the observation of the Sea Pirate and returned to the Auke Bay Harbor.

June 2 – Saturday, Sector Anchorage received a mayday broadcast at 1:12 p.m. on the Rugged Island High-Site and made an urgent marine information broadcast. The good Samaritan vessel Strider immediately responded, saying that they had just retrieved two kayakers from the water and requested no further assistance as they brought the kayakers safely to shore.

June 4 – Monday, Sector Juneau received a mayday call at 3:13 p.m. from the vessel Silver King, which was near Ketchikan and had struck a rock and begun to take on water with five people aboard. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was diverted from its central patrol, and a Station Ketchikan 25-foot response boat was launched in order to respond. A good Samaritan took four of the five passengers off the vessel while the master remained aboard to tie the vessel to the shore. The response boat arrived on the scene and assessed the situation, and determined that helicopter assistance was no longer necessary. With aid from commercial salvage the hole was plugged and the vessel was refloated.

June 4 – Also Monday, the Coast Guard District 17 Command Center received a report of a 51-year-old man suffering from a high fever and limited responsiveness on Amik Island near Moser Bay on southern Kodiak Island at 3:17 p.m. Air Station Kodiak launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and safely transported the patient to Kodiak, where local emergency medical crews were waiting.

June 5 – Tuesday at 9:20 p.m., the Coast Guard District 17 Command Center received a report of a crewmember aboard the fishing vessel Retriever showing symptoms of internal bleeding. The Retriever was more than 200 miles from Cordova. The Coast Guard forward-deployed MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Cordova and an Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane from Kodiak were sent to the scene. The helicopter crew arrived at 9:20 p.m. and hoisted the patient. He was transferred to emergency medical personnel at 11:20 p.m. The patient was conscious and able to walk from the helicopter to emergency medical services upon arrival in Cordova.

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