Coast Guard

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The U.S. Coast Guard’s mission is to protect the public, the environment, and U.S. economic interests — in the nation’s ports and waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security.

For over two centuries the U.S. Coast Guard has safeguarded the United States’ maritime interests in the heartland, in the ports, at sea, and around the globe. We protect the maritime economy and the environment, we defend our maritime borders, and we save those in peril. This history has forged our character and purpose as America’s Maritime Guardian — Always Ready for all hazards and all threats.

Today’s U.S. Coast Guard, with nearly 42,000 men and women on active duty, is a unique force that carries out an array of civil and military responsibilities touching almost every facet of the U.S. maritime environment.

By law, the Coast Guard has 11 missions: 

•Ports, waterways, and coastal security
•Drug interdiction
•Aids to navigation
•Search and rescue
•Living marine resources
•Marine safety
•Defense readiness
•Migrant interdiction
•Marine environmental protection
•Ice operations
•Other law enforcement

The legal basis for the Coast Guard is Title 14 of the United States Code, which states: “The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed force of the United States at all times.” Upon the declaration of war or when the President directs, the Coast Guard operates under the authority of the Department of the Navy. 

As members of a military service, Guardians on active duty and in the Reserve are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and receive the same pay and allowances as members of the same pay grades in the other four armed services.

The Coast Guard’s motto is “Semper Paratus,” which means “Always Ready.”

Coast Guard Holds Open House in Virgin Islands

ST. THOMAS -- The Coast Guard dock on St. Thomas was packed with people who came to attend an open house the federal agency conducted Monday to answer questions about the new "six pack" law regulating inspection of charter vessels. The new law allows for uninspected passenger vessels in the Virgin Islands to transport up to 12 passengers, inste... more

Coast Guard Rescues Oil Tanker Crewman

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The Coast Guard rescued a crewman with medical problems from an oil tanker anchored off Galveston, authorities said. The captain of the Jupiter Ace called officials at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston about 3 p.m. Wednesday, telling them a member of the ship's crew was coughing up blood. A boat crew from the Coast Guard station in Galvesto... more

Coast Guard Officials Reviewing Plan to Move Grounded Juno

COLLINS LANDING -- Coast Guard officials are reviewing a plan to move the grounded Juno, which has been stranded under the Thousand Islands Bridge since early Monday morning. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Christopher M. Yaw, based in Cleveland, said it was unclear when the vessel might be moved. "The main thing right now is making sure everyt... more

Coast Guard Rescues 3 Fishermen after Boat Catches Fire

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The Coast Guard rescued three fishermen from a life raft after their boat caught fire in waters off Kodiak Island on Tuesday. The fire on the 82-foot Northern Pride became uncontrollable, so the crew decided to abandon ship, according to a Coast Guard press release. "We couldn't fight the fire -- it was too smoky; it was scary," Scott Beckstro... more

Coast Guard Cutter Key Largo Arrives in Gloucester

Ten weeks after the U.S. Coast Guard formally retired the Gloucester-based cutter Grand Isle after 24 years' service, its successor reported to Gloucester for duty Tuesday. The USCG cutter Key Largo arrived without ceremony just before 3 p.m. at the Jodrey State Fish Pier, after setting out more than a week ago from its previous home port of Sa... more

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