On August 4th the US Coast Guard celebrates their 227th birthday. We thought we’d take this opportunity to give them some well-deserved recognition. The Coast Guard’s dedication to not only ensuring people’s safety at sea, but to protecting the waters themselves shouldn’t be overlooked. While many people’s only interaction with them might be getting their boat inspected or getting hassled for speeding or drinking at sea, make no mistake that the Coast Guard are some of the most highly trained and serious watermen out there.
Many of those serving in the Coast Guard train at Cape Disappointment, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific, on the border of Oregon and Washington. The unique conditions there make for some of the roughest waves in the United States, which is just what the trainees are looking for. They practice rescuing capsized boats by flipping theirs over on purpose, and train to rescue people from 15 foot waves or more. Depending on who you ask, some might say the Coast Guard rescue teams are better trained than the Navy SEALS.
With all that training comes maybe the Coast Guards most admirable aspect. They’re fearless. It doesn’t matter what happens or what the conditions are, from oil rigs exploding to a ship needing a rescue in the middle of a storm, the Coast Guard will go. It’s written into their creed that they’re ready and willing to put their lives on the line when others need rescuing. On top of their more dangerous work, the Coast Guard is also responsible for preventing the pollution of our waterways and coastlines, and when environmental disasters do happen, be it natural or manmade, they’re the ones out there cleaning it up.
So, if there’s a Coast Guard Day parade in your town this week, go check it out. Instead of thinking of them as the guys that try and stop you from having a good time in the summer, think of them as your local Navy. It’s their job to keep our coasts safe, and for that we thank them.