Preventing loss, providing inspiration

 

Coast Guard Lt. Eva McElroy, a marine inspector for Sector Anchorage, Alaska, tests the alarm and communications systems aboard the cargo vessel Crimson Monarch with Preed Mohensingh, second officer aboard the vessel, during an examination in Seward March 5, 2014. Coast Guard marine inspectors work with crews to ensure safety equipment and procedures run smoothly in order to prevent accidents. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert)

Coast Guard Lt. Eva McElroy, a marine inspector for Sector Anchorage, Alaska, tests the alarm and communications systems aboard the cargo vessel Crimson Monarch with Preed Mohensingh, second officer aboard the vessel, during an examination in Seward March 5, 2014. Coast Guard marine inspectors work with crews to ensure safety equipment and procedures run smoothly in order to prevent accidents. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert)

Aboard a cargo vessel bound for Chile in the port of Seward, Alaska, a Coast Guard vessel examination team conducts a routine evaluation of the ship’s safety and required documentation. It’s an important mission that protects lives and property and along for the inspection is Lt. Eva McElroy, a marine inspector from the Sector Anchorage prevention department.

Originally from Buena Vista, Colo., where she worked as a camp counselor and backcountry guide in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, McElroy joined the Coast Guard because she wanted to work with a team of people dedicated to helping others, and the Coast Guard gave her a chance to do that in variety of meaningful ways. Since arriving to Sector Anchorage, she’s helped others through her work in the prevention department.

Coast Guard vessel examiners work with crews from all over the world to both protect the ocean and  ensure standards of safety are met by those transiting U.S. waters. To do this, they examine safety equipment, conduct fire and abandon ship drills and check documentation for compliance with international maritime organization regulations.

“I’ve enjoyed meeting the ship crews and ensuring their vessels are safe,” said McElroy.  “I think what we do is fundamentally important to preventing tragedy and keeping people alive, safe and well.”

In addition to her work protecting mariners and the environment with the prevention department, McElroy serves and inspires her shipmates at Sector Anchorage as both the education services officer and as an active participant in community-driven athletic events around the city. 

“Self-improvement should be important to everyone,” said McElroy, who studied foreign languages at The Principia College in Elsah, Ill. “Pursuing education and increasing your knowledge about the world is not only good for your career, but it prepares you for what might be ahead in life.”       

Fitness is also important to McElroy and she regularly makes time to participate in both Coast Guard and community-related athletic events. Despite an admitted lack of skill in the game, she’s gotten involved with the Sector Anchorage indoor soccer league and practices aikido as well as keeping up with her running and skiing during the winter. During 2013, McElroy also took part in the Big Wildlife relay marathon and Hero Games events in Anchorage along with teammates from Sector Anchorage.

Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Eva McElroy and her teammates, Petty Officer 3rd Class Chris Raslavich, Petty Officer 3rd Class Lindsey Green, Petty Officer 3rd Class Landon Hall and Petty Officer 3rd Class Pedro Gonzalez-Soto perform a team carry during the physical challenge event at the Hero Games in Anchorage, Alaska, June 22, 2013. The six-person Coast Guard team, made up of personnel from Sector Anchorage, finished first in the physical challenge but came up up short in the overall competition. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert.

Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Eva McElroy and her teammates, Petty Officer 3rd Class Chris Raslavich, Petty Officer 3rd Class Lindsey Green, Petty Officer 3rd Class Landon Hall and Petty Officer 3rd Class Pedro Gonzalez-Soto perform a team carry during the physical challenge event at the Hero Games in Anchorage, Alaska, June 22, 2013.
The six-person Coast Guard team, made up of personnel from Sector Anchorage, finished first in the physical challenge but came up up short in the overall competition.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert.

 

“I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors and running,” said McElroy. “I think it’s even more important to stay physically active when you have a desk job or any other job that requires you to be in the office more than out in the field. It’s for your health, and you never know if your next assignment is going to demand more from you physically.”

As the sun sets in Seward, McElroy and her shipmates put the crew of the cargo vessel through their final drill, discuss their findings with the ship’s master and pack up for the long drive back to Anchorage. What she learned through conducting the inspection will only serve to enhance her skills as she progresses through her career in the Coast Guard and provides a vigilant presence to those who transit the sea.  

“As marine inspectors, we strive to stop property loss, pollution and other accidents before they happen,” said McElroy. “If you don’t read about a vessel sinking in the newspaper, it’s because we’ve done our job.”  

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