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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.”

Court: Ohio Man Must Pay $489,000 for False Call

Associated Press | Apr 23, 2014

CINCINNATI — An Ohio man who was 19 when he made a false distress call that triggered a massive, 21-hour search on Lake Erie must pay $489,000 in restitution to the U.S. and Canadian agencies involved in the needless rescue effort, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. In a 2-1 ruling, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati found ... more

Coast Guard Concludes Icebreaking Operations

Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay

 | Apr 22, 2014

DETROIT — The Coast Guard concluded icebreaking operations on the lower Great Lakes, Monday, more than four months after it started, Dec. 15, 2013.   Operation Coal Shovel is a bi-national domestic icebreaking effort covering the St. Lawrence Seaway, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, the Detroit/St. Clair River System, and southern Lake Huron. Crews ab... more

Coast Guard Responds to Spill in Ala Wai Harbor

Coast Guard is responding to a diesel spill sheen

 | Apr 22, 2014

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard is responding to a diesel spill in the Ala Wai small boat harbor, Monday. Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center received notification of the spill from the National Response Center at 6:30 a.m. and dispatched pollution responders to investigate. The sheen is believed to be diesel fuel or ano... more

Float and Flag Prompt Search for Missing Diver

 | Apr 21, 2014

The discovery of a red dive flag and buoy south of Diamond Head has prompted a Coast Guard search for a possible missing diver. The Coast Guard said the passenger boat Sea Fox recovered the float Sunday about a mile south of Diamond Head. The boat checked the area and found no one in distress on the surrounding surface. An MH-65 Dolphin helic... more

Salvage Plans Progressing for Bulk Carrier Aground

tanker aground

 | Apr 18, 2014

PORTSMOUTH, Va. -- The Coast Guard is in the final stages of reviewing a salvage plan Thursday that is scheduled to begin Friday morning to move the 751-foot bulk carrier, Ornak, that is aground near First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach, Va.   "Moving a vessel of this size off the beach is a complicated and dynamic operation, requiring c... more

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