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.”

US Coast Guard Rescues New Sailor near Anna Maria Island

ANNA MARIA ISLAND -- A 31-year-old man was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard early Monday after trying to sail from Clearwater to Marina Jack in Sarasota. The man's sister contacted the Coast Guard at 11 p.m. Sunday, saying her brother had just purchased the 26-foot sailboat and told her he was experiencing inclement weather before she lost conta... more

'Chasing' the Snow at the Coast Guard Academy

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At 2:30 a.m. Sam DelRusso was getting out of bed. He'd spent the night at Munro Hall Guest Housing at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, knowing he'd have his work cut out for him. The campus during those early, dark hours of the morning was best described as a "winter wonderland," DelRusso said, adding that it was difficult to see anything. "Blind... more

Coast Guardsman Plays Key Role in Dramatic Rescue at Sea

In this early Monday, Jan. 26, 2015 photo from video provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew hoists four passengers from the water about 11 miles off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

An Aiken native was involved in a dramatic rescue at sea after an airplane ran out of fuel and went down about 11 miles off the Hawaiian island of Oahu on Sunday night. Clay Clary, a 35-year-old lieutenant commander in the Coast Guard, and his helicopter crew saved three adults and a 1-year-old girl. They had been floating in the Pacific Ocean ... more

Coast Guard Rescues Ill Baby Aboard Ship


The Coast Guard rescued a child with serious medical problems from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico. About 7:15 p.m. Sunday, the Carnival Triumph notified the Coast Guard Houston sector about a baby who was having seizures and trouble breathing. The ship was about 230 miles southeast of Galveston when the crew requested an air ambulance for ... more

Coast Guard Intercepts Mexican Lancha, 600 Pounds of Cargo

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CORPUS CHRISTI -- Mexican poachers carrying more than 600 pounds of marine cargo in a lancha were intercepted and pursued about 30-minutes before being detained, a U.S. Coast Guard news release said. A Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi helicopter spotted the Mexican fishing boat about noon Sunday, 22 miles north of the U.S. Mexico boundary... more

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