Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022 |
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NAWILIWILI —United States Coast Guard Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate Buddy Gilbert never realized how fast four years would pass.
On Monday, Gilbert had a plane waiting to take him to the Gulf Coast where he will be the Officer in Charge of the Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile home-ported in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The native of Live Oaks, Fla., was cautioned by Capt. Joanna Nunan, Commander of USCG Sector Honolulu, about jumping ship in the middle of the night to a CGC Alligator which is ported nearby, bringing to light Gilbert’s affinity toward the collegiate Alligators.
USCG Chief Boatswain’s Mate Seth Carter returns to Kaua‘i as the Officer in Charge of USCG Kaua‘i, filling the vacancy created by Gilbert’s transfer.
The Change of Command was made official Monday during the USCG time-honored ceremony transferring command of the station from one officer to the next.
Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., accompanied by a contingent of Kaua‘i Fire Department personnel, including KFD Chief Robert Westerman, Ocean Safety Bureau Chief Kalani Vierra and others, said the partnership between the County of Kaua‘i has been a good one under Gilbert’s watch and he is hopeful the “just-pick-up-the-phone-and-call” relationship will continue under Carter’s command.
Carter is no stranger to Kaua‘i, having served aboard the CGC Kittiwake where he served as the Operations Petty Officer, First Lieutenant, and Deck Watch Officer for two years, advancing to Boatswain’s Mate First Class before being assigned as the CGC Manatee’s first Executive Petty Officer in 2005.
Carter, who said one of his two children was born at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, said returning to Kaua‘i was one of his wife’s dreams, arriving here last week to work with Gilbert on the transferring of duties.
The Coast Guard presence in Nawiliwili started in September 1990, when the CGC Point Harris moved to Kaua‘i from O‘ahu.
Following major damage sustained from Hurricane Iniki in 1992, the CGC Point Harris was replaced in 1993 by the CGC Point Evans.
Nawiliwili became the home port of CGC Kittiwake in July 2000. In July, 2002, nine members from the Kittiwake departed the cutter to establish Station Kaua‘i.
In 2010, the Kittiwake left Kaua‘i for its new home port of O‘ahu, leaving two 47-foot Motor Life Boats in its wakes, the two boats moored and standing by to witness to the Monday Change of Command.
Station Kaua‘i, grown in size of its crew and boats since 2002, is designated as a Heavy Weather Station and Level One Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security Station with its primary missions being Search and Rescue and Homeland Security.
The station’s area of responsibility extends approximately 50 nautical miles in all directions from Kaua‘i, encompassing the island of Ni‘ihau.
Kaua‘i is part of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu.
• Dennis Fujimoto can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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