Things we hope turn out differently, but sometimes don't...

That's rough...but there is only so much you can do.

We should all be thankfull that there is a USCG. Without people like you out there, we would lose a lot more.
My dad works at D9 here in Cleveland and I hear a lot of stories about people blaming the Coast Guard for "giving up" on finding their son/daughter/mother/father/whatever who decided to go kayaking on the great lakes in 15 degree weather without a life jacket. Smart. Obviously not the typical situation, but it irks me a lot when people point fingers at the Coast Guard when people die. /rant
This was in the summer, near Florida, so the water was pretty warm, and in 8 hours, in pitch black, my cutter, joined with a 110' cutter and a CG helo, found the man alive.

EXCELLENT JOB! Congrats to you and your crew!

I am positive that we (all of us at this forum), should contact the USCG to place you in a recruitment ad. You are a terrific role model, we are priviledged to just be acquainted with you.

May you have fair winds and following seas.

Haha, well Luigi where it picks up after we left is where the whole thing got interesting. Before that, I'll go into the sea story (because those of us at sea need our stories, and as a general rule of thumb add 5-10 feet on the seas you are describing).

I was on watch, a watch called the mids (Midwatch, starts at 0000 goes to 0400). It was pitch black that night, no moon. We had just left from Nassau, Bahamas from a mid patrol break. We had done the Bahamians a favor and dropped off a group of Cubans that had been found on a Bahamian island a few days before. We had a couple of days in port, which was nice considering it was Nassau. While we were in port, I had asked some of the tourists what they thought of their cruise ships. Once we got underway I research some cruise lines and sent an email to my father about a possible surpise cruise for my mother's 50th birthday. We were north east of Miami that night. If you've ever seen a cruise ship in the middle of the night at is a PARTY boat, lights the sky up like a city, and seems like it's half the distance it really is. Well that night, I saw a cruise ship, and our CPA (closest point of approach) was 2 NM (nautical miles, 2000 yards). When we got to CPA I turned to my fellow watch stander and mentioned that I had been looking into cruise lines and mentioned some of the stuff I had discovered. A few years ago a honeymooner disappeared in the Med, so we even brought that up. I was doing probably 10 knots, southbound, and he was doing between 15-20 knots, northbound. Within 15 mins of passing the cruise ship, a call went out on channel 16 of the VHF radio. In broken English we heard "Calling all ships, this is Carnival Glory, we have a man overboard in position...." At first it wasn't clear if that was near us, but in 15-30 secs, the call went out again and we realized it was the ship that had just passed us. We immediately came to right 15 deg. rudder, came about and headed towards the ship. We also got in contact with the cruise ship, CG Sector Miami and CG Sector Key West. At sea, people don't rubberneck as they drive by like they do on the highway, people instead come to help. Within an hour, we were joined by a Disney cruise ship too. Picture a pitch black area with two cruise ships, one Coast Guard cutter, and a Coast Guard helo, all searching an area. We had two search lights, the Disney ship had one very powerful search light and the Carnival ship seemed like it had six search lights, and finally the CG helo had one search light. The search went on for hours, and I was eventually relieved after my watch. About six hours later, after the Carnival Glory and the Disney cruise ship had already departed to go on their ways, the CG helo located the man, and another Coast Guard cutter out of Key West retreived the man from the water in an area just north of where we were searching. The water was warm and he was a larger man so he luckily lived and was relatively unhurt.

That's where my involvement ends. I google newsed it later that patrol. There was an investigation into why the man had jumped overboard in the first place. The following is what I read and heard, and does not involve any inside knowledge or official reports. What I read on an online newspaper was that the man had invited a boy on the cruise after he befriended the boys family, and that he had done this before. For some reason the man was drunk and they had a fight in their outboard stateroom. When the people surrounding the room called security the man ran and jumped out the window (very bad idea, don't do that). The FBI had investigated the incident and at some point "solitication of a minor" or "indecent acts with a minor" came up.

Crazy ending to an interesting night.
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My girlfriend (pharmacy major in Rhode Island) had a friend from high school who was lost at sea last year. Some of her friends blamed the Coast Guard when the search was suspended, apparently assuming that Coasties don't understand that they are searching for a human being.

It sounds like this family is saying these things from grief. They are looking for someone to blame for their loss. Once some time passes I am sure they will see that the Coast Guard did everything it could.

Good luck to you on future searches and thank you for what you do.
I agree WA, her reaction was soon after the loss, and she never directed it directly at me.

Prima, thank you, the winds have been fair and the seas have followed....FOR NOW!!! (cue creepy evil Bwahahaha laugh now).
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"My current patrol has me somewhere in the North Atlantic" sounds like a great start to a book!

Thanks for the stories, we all appreciate anecdotes about what we possibly could be doing in the future.
i love hearing/reading sea stories too. I cant wait until the summer when i can actually experience some of this stuff