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News // Nov 7, 2022

Coast Guard Foundation Honors Coast Guard Members who Saved Nine from Burning Rig, Unveils New Program to Support Mental Resiliency

  • Ron LaBrec

The Coast Guard Foundation and more than 583 supporters honored a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston on Friday, Nov. 4, at the Texas Salutes the Coast Guard event in Houston.

The annual event brings together Coast Guard leaders, industry executives, congressional and government officials, and Coast Guard supporters for a night of patriotic fanfare.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watch standers received notification at 12:51 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2022, that the Pride Wisconsin, a mobile offshore drilling unit, was on fire in Sabine Pass with nine people aboard.

The Coast Guard watch standers immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast to alert nearby vessels and dispatched a response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Sabine Pass, as well as a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston, to assist.

With the rig’s deck too high for a surface evacuation, the helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer to the rig and began hoisting the crewmembers. Despite the fire and smoke, the crew safely hoisted all nine crewmembers and transported them to a nearby rig which was accessible by land. This allowed the survivors to be evaluated by emergency medical services personnel ashore.

The Foundation also featured its programs that support resiliency among Coast Guard members and families by funding suicide prevention peer training nationwide, as well as resiliency retreats and couples skill building workshops for members stationed far from family support networks.

“When you assist people during the most difficult times in their lives you can’t help but be transformed by the experience,” said Coast Guard Foundation President Susan Ludwig. “We take our jobs seriously and our support personally.”

The Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Steven Poulin, Commander of Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Vice Admiral Kevin Lunday, Eighth Coast Guard District Commander, Rear Admiral Richard Timme, and Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston Commander, Captain Jason Smith, attended along with other Coast Guard personnel.

Major sponsors of the event, now in its 7th year, included Cheniere Energy, ConocoPhillips, Kirby Corp., Marathon Petroleum, Chevron Corp., and SeaRiver Maritime. The Foundation is also grateful for the generosity of all sponsors and attendees who helped raise more than $763,000 for Foundation programs that support the Coast Guard, its members, and their families.

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Title Image: Members of a Coast Guard Air Station Houston helicopter crew (right) were honored at the Coast Guard Foundation's Texas Salutes the Coast Guard event on Nov. 4, 2022, at the Marriott Marquis Houston.

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