Early this morning news broke that the HMS Bounty was caught in Hurricane Sandy on her trip south and foundered in heavy weather. Fourteen of her 16 crew members were able to make it into life rafts and were ultimately rescued by the US Coast Guard. Here is an incredible video of this operation.
So our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Claudene Christian who died today and Captain Robin Walbridge who is still missing as I write this post.
Finally, the sad news is somewhat offset by the good news that we still have real life heroes today. US Coast rescue swimmers risk it all, accomplishing incomprehensible feats under mind-boggling conditions. While everyone else is advised to stay out of harms way, they are willing to jump into it save lives. They are true heroes and we can’t thank them enough for what they do, all in a days work.
Of course, I’m thankful for the incredible sacrifice and service that all of US veterans have given us. But here’s a nice US Coast Guard video/photo slide show by Chief Petty Officer Bob Laura, Petty Officer 2nd Class Annie Elis and Petty Officer 3rd Class Seth Johnson from the 2009 Veteran’s Day Parade in New York City.
Ben Strong leads the US Coast Guard’sAmver (Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System) unit. Amver has been saving lives since 1958 and their blog tells their great story. Make sure you check it out.
A boathouse, decommissioned by the Coast Guard in the 1980s and the former home of the rescue boat CG36500, which braved terrible conditions in the 1952 sea rescue of 32 men from the SS Pendleton, was placed on a barge last weekend for transit and storage in Quincy, MA. The building had been slated to be demolished before a group of preservationists stepped in. Jay Cashman, Inc. donated the equipment and staff to ship the building, estimating the move cost between $75,000 to $100,000.
Luis Estrella, 26, a boatswain’s mate third class, patrols the waters from the Staten Island Ferry to the Outerbridge Crossing to Newark Bay on a Marine Domain Awareness patrol, which involves a four-man crew that works two 12-hour shifts over 48 hours.
The patrols work in three areas — the upper Hudson River, Lower Manhattan and the Newark Bay area — to protect the infrastructure and to assist in search and rescue operations.
About the Lens Series:
For the past three months, Michelle V. Agins, a staff photographer for The Times, worked the night shift alongside them, patrolling New York Harbor for security breaches with the United States Coast Guard, presiding over the empty pews with the night watchman at the Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue at 29th Street, feeding infant twin boys with a baby nurse in Park Slope, riding an ambulance all over with emergency medical technicians. Here Gary Louhisdon, a security guard at the American Museum of Natural History, walks among the exhibits, much as Ben Stiller did in “Night at the Museum.”
Each week for the next three months, photographs will appear of other members of the city’s secret club that meets after midnight. Please, they asked, do not call it the graveyard shift. They are not dead.