Get ready to whiten those knuckles and hold fast as we get underway to talk with Coast Guard veterans about the most daring, dangerous, and epic sea stories ever told. Whether facing ruthless men who prey on other mariners or storms that turn calm seas into graveyards, those who go down to the sea and cast off lines enter the most challenging and dangerous environment on earth. Only here will you hear their stories and the lessons gained through their experience.
RADM Donna Cottrell talks the launch of three helicopters to save a foundering commercial fishing vessel off Atlantic City, leading the response to a medical evacuation as an enlisted BM and coxswain, and commanding the service’s aerial gun crews at the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON).
Former Maritime Enforcement Specialist Miguel Calderon talks a tense standoff with a well armed boat at the southern border, how hijinks at a station likely inspired a scene in the movie Jackass, and how once you’ve worn blue you’ll always have friends to turn to.
Recorded live on the Waterfront Stage at the Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven, Michigan - Marine Science Technician Zac Edwards talks his wedding and the rescue of a victim trapped in an Alabama rip current. President of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Capt Wes Pulver (Ret.), talks at sea holiday celebrations on board CGC Eagle.
Recorded live on the Waterfront Stage at the Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven, Michigan - Phil & National Coast Guard Museum Communications Director Drew Forester talk with Boatswains Mate Chuck Vogel about his response to a boat allision with a breakwall and the MEDEVAC of its seriously injured passengers, and the rescue of a swimmer in distress who was pulled to safety at the last possible second.
Former Storekeeper Shawnle Jones talks candidly about the challenges and struggles of being one of the first women to enlist after the Coast Guard opened all assignments to women in 1978, her first tour of duty as a Motor Lifeboat Crewmember at Station Fort Point in San Francisco Bay where she was routinely called on to respond to cases involving the tragic loss of life at sea, and her ongoing support to the Women In Military Service For America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetary. Note this episode touches on mature subject matter. Parental discretion is advised.
CWO Steve Hathaway (Ret.) talks the first years of the Coast Guard’s Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Program and what it took to prove swimmers could save lives, responding to a plane crash in the swift waters of an Alaskan river, a tough MEDEVAC off Oahu, the aftermath of Hurricane Iniki, a boat fire in the frigid waters of Cape Cod, and the aerial delivery of a boarding team far from shore to stop a massive human smuggling attempt.
Lieutenant Chris O’Brien (Ret.) talks circumnavigating the Earth on a High Endurance Cutter, interdicting suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden, and coordinating the rescue of a downed fighter pilot in the middle of the Pacific.
Former Coast Guardsman Joe Peterson talks the unexpected arrival of the Russian fishing fleet off the Oregon coast in the late ‘60s and how his ability to read and speak Russian put him in the middle of high profile medevacs, law enforcement, and security actions that stoked public fears throughout the entire country.
From our first live show at the Escape Hatch in E City - Commander Brian Boland talks his first command as an Ensign, flying the mighty C-130 Hercules, and how the plane and its aircrew respond to search and rescue, law enforcement, and security missions in spite of weather that keeps all other flights grounded.
From our first live show at the Escape Hatch in E City - Master Chief Aviation Survival Technician Don Murray (Ret.) talks the rescue of a fishing vessel crew in a violent nor’easter off the Massachusetts coast and a broken helicopter hoist that left him and a survivor without a ride home.
Maritime Enforcement Specialist and former Aviation Survival Technicial Chad Carlson (Ret.) talks an all volunteer mission into the worst of a tropical storm to save the crew of a tugboat grounded on a shoal and breaking apart in violent surf off the Georgia coast.
Former Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Cody Wright talks with us again, this time getting specific about the physical and mental aspects of preparing for and graduating from the toughest Coast Guard ‘A’ School - Aviation Survival Technician. Recorded during a previously aired livestream.
Chief Boatswains Mate Jeremy Gourde (Ret) talks exceeding operational limits to send a towline to a disabled fishing boat threatening an Atlantic City bridge and the punishing response to save a jet ski’s operator who set out in a hurricane.
Former Lieutenant Michael Carr talks diving on the wreck of the Cutter Blackthorn in the immediate aftermath of her deadly collision on Tampa Bay and the search and recovery efforts for 23 Coast Guardsmen, responding to the collision of the MV Summit Venture with the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and diving under an icy Potomac River to locate the wreckage and victims of Air Florida Flight 90.
Episode 21: Former Special Agent Chris Huntington of the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) talks sailing to war as a Fire Control Technician in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, a dogfight in an HH65 above the Nation’s capital, the focused experience of a near deadly force encounter while serving an arrest warrant, and the measured response to an IED attack while deployed to the Middle East.
Chief Aviation Survival Technician Pepe Carire ( Ret.) talks life and death decisions in the surf off Puerto Rico during one of his first missions as a helicopter rescue swimmer, and the lessons learned from an overturned liferaft in the frigid waters of the Atlantic.
Special Episode: In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month we’re releasing this special episode to further the conversation. Former Electrician’s Mate Karla Nemitz talks her experiences with sexual assault, mental health, and suicide while in the service, and how she’s now actively working to raise awareness of the issues through art in the hopes those suffering can get the help and support they need, and to further the work to prevent suicide and to eliminate sexual assault from the ranks.
Former Surfman John Kopp talks what it takes to pass an underway checkride and certify to lead boat crews in the surf, and how he’s helping to keep the lessons learned from a 1997 tragedy alive in the hopes they prevent future loss of life.
Conversation with Susan J. Curtin, Chair of the Coast Guard Museum Association, who talks her father’s service in the Antarctic and how a former Port Security Specialist is now leading the charge to build the National Coast Guard Museum.
Former Maritime Enforcement Specialist Kyle Kinser talks his personal struggles to transition from an active maritime tactical unit to a slower paced assignment and later civilian life. Surviving suicide attempts and a criminal conviction, he now helps and inspires others suffering through similar times in their lives.
Chief Warrant Officer Mario Vittone (Ret.) talks a response to a distressed vessel off the Georgia coast that turned near catastrophic, with a rescue swimmer left alone in a liferaft hundreds of miles from shore and a helicopter so low on fuel its crew prepared to ditch into the Atlantic.
On the mission’s 25th anniversary, Boatswain’s Mate Timothy Montowski (Ret.) talks deploying to Haiti for Operation Uphold Democracy and the unique wartime roles played by reservists assigned to the nation’s Port Security Units.
Episode 9: Aviation Survival Technician Cody Wright talks a deadly boat collision on the Great Lakes and how seemingly minor lessons from the service’s most difficult school prepared him to adapt, overcome, & persevere when lives, including his own, were on the line.
Chief Petty Officer (Ret.) Todd Fletcher talks a man overboard during a security boarding off the South Carolina coast, the MEDEVAC that followed, and how a small Alaskan island nearly became a graveyard for his boat and crew.
Episode 7: Maritime Enforcement Specialist Chief (Ret.) Carlos Perez talks how the 9/11 attacks played out in view of his boat crew, the maritime evacuation of lower Manhattan, and dealing with the realization that we as responders can do everything possible, but won’t always be able to make a difference to prevent a tragedy.
The Lunkleys talk a Coast Guard Medal case that ended in the successful rescue a victim trapped in a capsized boat and the lifelong relationships created by a close knit service whose everyday missions involve life and death.