Cruising

They Rescue the Rescuers

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Every day, men and women of the Coast Guard risk their lives to save people in need in the oceans, rivers and bays across the country. But who takes care of the Coast Guard? The Coast Guard Foundation, now in its 40th year, is honoring its officers with a new one-in-a-million campaign and various celebrations.

October 28, 2009: A Coast Guard helicopter rescued five people after their boat sunk 197 miles offshore during the Baja Haha.

March 6, 2000: A Coast Guard cutter rescued four sailors off the coast of Oregon when their 72-foot schooner caught fire and sank.

June 8, 2009: After a capsize 60 miles from Galveston, Texas, five crew members drifted for 26 hours until they were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter.

These are among the stories arriving every day in response to the Coast Guard Foundation’s inquiry: Are you one in a million? This year, the Coast Guard reported it had saved one million lives since its founding in 1790, and the Foundation began a search for stories of the rescued.

“There are many people out there who have been helped and touched by the Coast Guard,” says Coast Guard Foundation president Anne Brengle. “We started the one-in-a-million campaign to raise awareness among the people who have been on the receiving end of the Coast Guard rescue efforts.”

On the website, www.one-in-a-million-rescued.org, people share their stories through words and video. So far, there are over 50 tales, many of which are chilling reminders of how frightening Mother Nature can be. Though it’s been a slow start, Brengle says the Foundation is anxious to get the word out. “Sometimes people are reluctant to share because it isn’t a nice memory, but once they realize how much it adds to the celebration, they get enthusiastic.” She hopes to continue to collect stories to honor and encourage members of the Coast Guard. After all, that’s what the Foundation is all about.

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