These tumultuous waters represent both the history and future of the Coast Guard as surfmen of today continue saving lives in the finest of traditions. Surf – specifically in the Pacific Northwest – is both unpredictable and treacherous and requires the utmost boat driving skill and mastery.Of the 188 boat stations currently in the Coast Guard, 20 stations are located in areas with surf conditions requiring surfmen.Sykes of Raleigh, North Carolina, said her 19-year-old son was knocked out of his bunk by the impact, and water immediately began filling the berth, after their destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with the container ship four times its size off the Japanese coast.

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Day cruises before a long overnight trip also makes sense. If safety is ignored then it could have worse consequences than accidental pregnancy. Whether you choose to inform a family member or staff at your local marina,always be sure to let someone else know your float plan. Mates on the water depend on each other and are true team mates.

This should include where you’re going and how long you’re going to be gone. Good skippers will teach and there are many sources for boating education starting with Transport Canada. Family planning on the water takes preparation, learn how to stock a boat for long cruises.

Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia, was the first sailor to be identified Saturday night.

At the time it wasn't clear whether or not he had survived the collision.

Station Grays Harbor in Westport, Wash., guards the Grays Harbor bar, one of the most treacherous bars in the Pacific Northwest. Life-Saving Service passed on its legacy of lifesaving – and it’s surfmen – to the U. When a member earns the privilege of wearing the surfman’s insignia, it represents the highest level of boat operations experience and immense responsibility surfmen undertake in the performance of their duties.

Perilous surf and uncertain seas are a way of life at the station. Life-Saving Service is credited with saving more than 178,000 people, and the mainstay of the service was the surfman – boat handlers who crewed lifeboats and performed daring and often amazing rescues. Surfmen are the only coxswains qualified to operate rescue boats in breaking surf conditions.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Ouellette was fresh out of boot camp in July 2007 when he was assigned to Station Grays Harbor.

He arrived at his first Coast Guard unit ready to learn.

Seven US Navy sailors were killed in the collision, authorities have confirmed.

They are (top row, left to right) Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, CA; Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, VA; Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, CT; and Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, CA.

There won’t be a keeper to follow up on Ouellette’s patrols. He knows every day he sets out in Grays Harbor he enters the unknown.