Coast Guard

Boat 428x285

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 Responds to Early Season Nor'easter in New England

Coast Guard Cutter Sanibel

BOSTON — Coast Guard rescue crews worked overnight and continued to respond Oct. 23 to multiple mariners in distress. Watchstanders at the Sector Southeast New England Command Center received notification that the 55-foot Sailing Vessel Swept Away was unable to lower it's sails and lost all propulsion in Rhode Island Sound, Wednesday. The Swept... more

Coast Guard Repatriates 43 Cuban Migrants

Coast Guard boat crew

MIAMI — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Charles David Jr. repatriated 43 Cuban migrants to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba Wednesday. These repatriations are a result of three separate interdictions of people attempting to illegally migrate to the United States. On Saturday, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Charles Sexton interdicted 22 Cuban migr... more

Coast Guard Medevacs Navy Sailor Off Virginia Coast

USS Barry

The Coast Guard medevaced a man Wednesday from a Navy vessel off the Virginia coast. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads in Portsmouth received a request for the medevac from watchstanders aboard the USS Barry who reported a 36-year-old crewmember experiencing chest pains at approximately 3 a.m. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helico... more

3 People, Dog, Cat Hoisted from Boat in Chesapeake Bay

Three people, a cat and a dog were hoisted from a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay Oct. 23 near Cape Charles. The owner and operator of the 30-foot sailboat Mary K put out a distress call about 2 p.m. that three people aboard were seasick and that the sailboat was dragging anchor in 4-foot seas and 25-knot winds, according to a Coast Guard news r... more

Coast Guard Station Assists in Recovery of Individual Swept Off Rocks

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Coast Guard and local response agencies rescued an individual in distress south of Carmel Bay in Monterey County, Sunday. At 11:53 a.m. Sunday, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center watchstanders were notified by Coast Guard Station Monterey Bay of an adult male reportedly washed off the rocks at Soberanes Point. ... more

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