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.”

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Coast Guard Searching Waters after Life Ring Spotted Alongside Ferry

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The Coast Guard was searching the Puget Sound waters between Seattle and Bainbridge Island late Sunday night and doing a headcount of passengers on the ferry Puyallup, after a life ring with a strobe light attached to it was spotted alongside the ferry. The ferry was brought to an immediate stop when the life ring was spotted, and ferry operato... more

Coast Guard Rescues Woman in Gulf of Mexico

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Coast Guard crewmembers rescued a woman in the Gulf of Mexico who complained of chest pains while aboard a boat. The woman was aboard a boat Sunday afternoon when she reported trouble, and she was taken to Clearwater Harbor Marina, officials say. The Double Eagle II was about 13 miles west of Clearwater when the captain notified Coast Guard of... more

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

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