Monday, November 24, 2008

GONZALEZ to the Rescue

Every day of the year the United States Coast Guard rescues people and property all across the United States, on our inland waters and territorial seas, on the high seas, and around the world. During our last training period at sea, GONZALEZ Sailors experienced two opportunities to provide rescue and assistance to other mariners on the high seas and work with the Coast Guard at the same time. On the 8th of November we responded to a distress call from the sailboat Gypsy Dane. Just a few days later, we responded to a second distressed sailboat, the Reina Del Sol. In the case of the Gypsy Dane, GONZALEZ Sailors repaired a completely destroyed rudder post and cut away approximately 50 feet of line tangled around the sailboat’s rudder, shaft, and propeller. Just as we finished our repairs, the Coast Guard Cutter SENECA arrived on the scene and made sure the vessel and master were good to go as we continued on with our training.

On the Reina Del Sol, repairs were not possible, so we towed the sailboat with our 7 meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) and embarked the two crew members for the night until the Coast Guard Cutter SPENCER arrived the next morning. SPENCER took the sailboat under tow for further transfer to the Canadian Coast Guard. All in all, I can’t express well enough in words how proud I was of every GONZALEZ Sailor who participated in our two rescue and assistance missions. The Coast Guard Atlantic Area Commander even said he would welcome us into the Coast Guard Fleet as an honorary cutter…as long as we could get just a few more search and rescues under our belt.

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