St. Augustine ‘Salute
The Coast Guard’
Draws Huge Crowd
More than 4,000 people attended
the first “Salute the Coast Guard”
April 26 at Bings Landing in St.
Augustine, Fla. The event was sponsored by the St. Augustine Council
and featured static displays from
Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville and
the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical
Squadron based in Jacksonville, as
well as dramatic search-and-rescue
and drug interdiction demonstrations along the Inland Waterway
between Daytona and St. Augustine,
according to William Korach, public affairs officer for the St. Augustine Council.
Sector Jacksonville also demonstrated Rescue 21, a new rescue
communication tool designed to
pinpoint a distressed vessel’s location at sea during a mayday call.
Sector Jacksonville provided a
flyover by an HU- 25 Falcon from
Clearwater, Fla., a demonstration of
a search-and-rescue at sea by a team
from Savannah, and a demonstration by a drug-sniffing dog team
from King’s Bay, Ga. The Coast
Guard aids-to-navigation tender
Hammer alone drew more 1,500 visitors. In addition, there were four
25-foot Defender Class boats available for visits and demonstrations.
The purpose of “Salute the
Coast Guard” was to honor the
service for some of its less-well-known, but critical missions.
Council President Ted Turowski
said, “Sector Jacksonville is critical
in protecting and policing our
waterways and shipping from terrorists. When you combine that fact
with the more than 1. 5 million lives
Coast Guardsmen have saved since
the founding of the service, and the
work they do for Homeland
Security, I felt the Navy League
needed to salute them; that they
needed their own special day.”
“It was a beautiful day, a perfect
setting and a huge success. … Not
Sector Jacksonville, Fla., Coast Guardsman of the Year, Yeoman 1st Class
Jennifer Crane, shares a laugh with Dr. Giles McCoy, a Marine veteran of World
War II who survived the sinking of USS Indianapolis in 1945, after both were
honored during the St. Augustine Council’s “Salute the Coast Guard” April 26.
More than 4,000 people attended a “Salute the Coast Guard” event to see
such attractions as a Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron MH-65C pursuit helicopter and the aids-to-navigation tender Hammer.
only did you provide my crew with a
well-deserved recognition and
thanks, you helped to educate thousands from the general public on the
vital role our Coast Guard plays in
ensuring safety, security and stewardship in our ports and on our waters,”
Capt. Paul Thomas, commanding
officer of Sector Jacksonville, said in a
note to Turowski.
In another “thank you” note,
Capt. E.W. Greiner, commanding
officer of the Helicopter Interdiction
Tactical Squadron, said, “This event
helped share the Coast Guard’s story
with the Palm Coast community,
bolstered a sense of pride for the
members of our commands and provided an overall fun day for all who