Students warm up to cold water safety

SITKA, Alaska – Since 2007, an average of 50 drownings has occurred every year in Alaska. This is the highest rate of drownings in the country. To make a change, Sitka School District partners annually with Alaska Marine Safety Education […]


Pacific Area Commander Vice Adm. Charles W. Ray and 17th District Commander Rear Adm. Dan Abel present the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Medal of Honor award to Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Kreske at Coast Guard Base Kodiak, Alaska, Feb. 18, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Diana Honings.

To Define Heroism

What is your definition of heroism? While to some the first definition that comes to mind might be a one-time heroic action, we would like to provide you with a different type of example. Not just a single act in the heat-of-the-moment, but a consistent display of extraordinary heroism. A consistency and perseverance demonstrated in decision-making and problem-solving where an individual, on more than one occasion, moves beyond their training and everyday duties, and applies those skills in the service of others.


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.


AST1 Rachid Arnick featured image

So others may live: AST1 Rachid Arnick

So others may live. It’s the creed of the aviation rescue swimmer community and a promise to those in danger that when a Coast Guard rescue swimmer enters the water, she or he will do everything in their power – including risk their own life – to save you.


Coast Guard teaches Army shallow water egress training at Fort Wainwright, Alaska

Whether it’s a car rolling off a pier or a helicopter crashing into a lake, scenes of sinking vehicles with passengers trapped inside are a common trope in television and cinema. These scenarios are often inspired by real life events […]