A photo 25 years in the making. Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technicians from Air Station Kodiak, Alaska pose for a photo November 21, 2014 to observe the Air Station’s 25th anniversary of the installation of the Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Program. (Right) 2014 U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Auxiliarist Tracey Mertens (Left) 1989 photo by Mario Marini.

25th year anniversary of the Kodiak rescue swimmer

Air Station Kodiak reported ready for rescue swimmer operations in November of 1989. The first operational deployment of a rescue swimmer from Air Station Kodiak was performed on Dec. 7, 1989, in Shelikof Strait. On that day Petty Officer 3rd Class Bill DeCamp was lowered from an H-3 helicopter to an overturned vessel to ensure no survivors were in the immediate area.