The calendar may have read June 4, but the warmth of summer was painfully slow in com- ing to the Northeast following the especially
brutal cold of January and February. And on that day, winter was having one cruel — but hopefully last — laugh.
As the four members of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew out of the First Coast Guard District’s
Base Boston prepared for a morning patrol around
Boston Harbor, conditions dictated that they must
once more don their cold weather suits — after having
stashed them away, apparently for the season, several
weeks earlier. Thanks to recent cold, rainy weather, the
water temperature at the base dock had dipped back
below the 60-degree threshold, and because the air
temperature was only in the low 50s, out again came
the “mustangs,” as the suits are known.
“Saturday, it was 94 here in Boston, it was crazy,” said
Seaman William Buckley, as the response boat motored by
Spectacle Island, one of 34 in a chain
that forms the Boston Harbor Islands
State Park just offshore of the city.
“Summertime’s coming, we’ll be
busy,” Maritime Enforcement Spe-
cialist 3rd Class John Hollerbach
promised a few moments later, as
the boat passed a pleasure craft on
its way out the harbor’s main chan-
nel. “More boat traffic, something’s
going to happen. It always does.”
A week prior, during the warm
spell that preceded the early June
chill, the boat crew got a horrific
reminder of just what can happen
during the summer season, when
recreational boaters and beach-
goers will fill the waters in and
around the harbor.
In the early evening of May 29,
the response boat was first on the
scene of an accident near Spectacle
With daylight fading, the crew arrived to find 13
people crowding the 29-foot powerboat Naut Guilty,
and Berthiaume being treated with makeshift bandages
by some of the frantic passengers.
“She was in tough shape. Her injuries were severe;
life-threatening,” said Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class
Thomas Ciarametaro, who piloted the response boat.
The crew brought her onto the response boat and
administered first aid. A Boston Fire Department firefighting and rescue boat arrived a short time later and
paramedics then transferred her aboard to continue
treatment. Berthiaume eventually was transported to
Massachusetts General Hospital.
Meeting the Needs
Despite aging fleet, mission challenges,
First District maintains its heritage of service
By PETER ATKINSON, Deputy Editor
The First District
The history of the U.S. Coast Guard begins in its First District,
which comprises all of New England, the New York City metropolitan area including the northeast corner of New Jersey, and the
eastern portion of New York State, from the border with New
Jersey and Pennsylvania to Canada.
■ The first Coast Guard station was established in Newburyport,
Mass., near the border with New Hampshire.
■ The district’s coverage area today includes the North Atlantic
off Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, during iceberg patrol
season, and the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone along the
Atlantic Coast, and can extend well into the ocean for search-and-rescue operations.
■ The district is manned by 3,400 active-duty Coast Guard men
and women, 800 civilians and 1,100 Reservists, as well as 6,000
Coast Guard Auxiliarists.