Coast Guard there when it’s needed

Two incidents last week—one a classic open-sea rescue, the other with an oddball twist—were a reminder that the Coast Guard is ever-ready and ever-valuable.

On July 6, a Coast Guard airplane searched for a yacht racing from California to Kaua’i after officials received a distress call from the boat’s emergency locator beacon. The lone sailor on board was spotted 300 miles from Oahu and was plucked from the water by a Navy ship. He’d abandoned his 33-foot sailboat after its rigging broke.

Then last Sunday, the afternoon peace in the Nawiliwili and Lihue areas was broken by the racket of a Coast Guard helicopter circling above. Its crew was answering yet another silent emergency locator signal, only this one had been accidentally tripped on a boat parked on a trailer at a fast-food restaurant where the vessel’s owner had stopped to eat.

Both incidents ended well, the second one almost comically except for the fact the Coast Guard takes all apparent emergencies seriously. And that’s why the Guard is so good to have around.

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