Skip to main content

They Rescue the Rescuers Page 2

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

The Coast Guard Foundation, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, exists to “rescue the rescuers,” says Brengle. They raise money to support the men and women of the Coast Guard, take care of their families and help their children attend college. Last week, after the tragic collision of a Coast Guard plane with a Marine Corps helicopter off the coast of California, it took the Foundation a mere 48 hours to raise $40,000 so that the relatives of the crew could fly to the memorial service. “We’re very nimble at being able to mobilize around a tragedy,” says Brengle.

Though the Coast Guard falls under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security, it is not considered part of the Department of Defense, so funding comes exclusively from private funds and grants. “They’re one of the most under-funded branches of the service, and that’s where we come in,” says Brengle.

In addition to the one-in-a-million campaign, the Foundation hosts several annual events to raise funds and awareness of the Coast Guard. On November 12 it hosted a dinner in St. Petersburg, Florida to celebrate Coast Guard heroes, presenting an Exceptional Performance of Duty award to the crew of a cutter that interrupted a vessel in the Bahamas with 32 migrants on board. They also recognized the bravery of an aircrew that went 100 miles east of Cape Canaveral to save the lives of three drifting sailors aboard their 52-foot vessel.

In October, the Foundation hosted an event at the Marriot Marquis in New York, New York, where 700 guests recognized Petty Officer Ben Foster. The 24-year-old was at the scene in January 2009 when US Airways Flight 1549 crashed into the Hudson River. When Foster witnessed a passenger slip off of the icy wing into the frigid waters without a life jacket, he dove in, rupturing an artery in his leg. Though he was later put in intensive care, Foster ignored the injury at the time and continued rescuing passengers for hours. At the Marriott, he received the Meritorious Service Medal for his courage. In his speech, Foster said he was merely doing his job, “That’s why I joined the Coast Guard…the whole thing is bigger than an award. The most important thing is that we saved everybody that day.”

These rescues are a sampling of the heroic and selfless acts performed by the men and women of the Coast Guard every day. As the one-in-a-million website gains momentum, more people will be able to thank and honor the Coast Guard for their efforts as the Foundation continues to offer their support. As Brengle puts it, someone has to rescue the rescuers.

Related

Background-02

Notice to Mariners: A Blog from the SAIL Editors

As a teenager, I stumbled across a copy of Derek Lundy’s Godforsaken Sea in the back room of a used bookshop. I had never heard of the Vendée Globe and frankly found all the boat-speak in the first 50 pages a little difficult to get through. But Lundy’s storytelling and the draw ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

VIDEO: Celestial Navigation Episode 2

Celestial navigation is an invaluable tool for all kinds of sailors. In episode two of the celestial navigation series, learn the basic elements of navigation and the sight reduction process using declination and GHA to determine the Geographic Position and navigate using a ...read more

Film-poster

Cruising: Year of the Sea Shanty

Along with other timeless pursuits, like baking sourdough and gardening, singing sea shanties surged back into popularity during the recent lockdown, thanks, in part, to the app TikTok and its “duet” feature, which allows singers from around the world create music together. By ...read more

Book-Cover-9780712353700

Book Review: Sailor Song

Sailor Song is the ultimate guide to the music of working sailors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The book includes lyrics and sheet music for 50 of the most beloved sea songs with fascinating historical background on the adjoining page. Chapter introductions provide ...read more

Screen Shot 2022-01-12 at 10.42.33 AM

Race Update: RORC Transat

With the fleet leaders about halfway to Grenada, the 2022 RORC Transatlantic is shaking out to be a tactically interesting one. The race, now in its 8th edition, began on Saturday with 30 teams ranging from 70-foot catamarans to a 28-foot JPK 1010. Early in the race, light winds ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_1585

Experience: Fire Down Below

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, local racing had resumed with household crews only. My wife, though, while always up for a pleasure sail, was not up for this kind of thing, so, for the fifth time in what was any measure an unusual sailing season, I found myself singlehanding my ...read more

BestBoats2022-logo

Best Boats 2022

In case you hadn’t heard, the fall 2021 boat show season was one for the record books. If there was ever any doubt the sailing public still enjoys making its way to Newport, Rhode Island, or Annapolis, Maryland, to see the latest in boat design, those doubts were put to rest ...read more

01-LEAD-Dominique-David-2048x

Mulithull Show Coming to La Grande-Motte

After a year without boat shows, 2021 proved to be a blockbuster summer and fall for events around the globe, and the International Mulithull Show is looking to continue that trend in 2022. First held in 2010, the show, which takes place in La Grand-Motte, France, on the shores ...read more