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U.S. Coast Guard sea, air and Auxiliary crews drill for the worst

Boaters worldwide consider the water surrounding the Keys a premier destination.

Anglers, divers, sailors and pleasure boaters know that the island chain is unique in that from one location, you can enjoy the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and Gulf of Mexico.

But from operator error to rough seas to sudden storms, a pleasurable day on the water can quickly turn treacherous. The U.S. Coast Guard and its partners in the Coast Guard Auxiliary prepare for that reality every day.

Earlier this week, crews with Coast Guard Station Islamorada, Coast Guard Air Station Miami and Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas 1304 and 1308 (from the Ocean Reef Club and Islamorada, respectively) conducted several rescue drills near Carysfort Reef off northern Key Largo.

Despite 3- to 5-foot seas Tuesday, the exercises went better than planned, or as Flotilla 1308 Staff Officer David Gross described it: “Epic.”

“Today was just a wonderful day to be on the boat with my friends,” Gross said before repeating, “Epic!”

Riding on the Ocean Reef-owned twin-engine center consol catamaran that morning were Gross and Flotilla 1304 Operations Officer Peter Liashek, 1304 Cmdr. Even Johansen, 1304 crewmember Kenneth Dewey and 1308 crewmembers John Gilbarty and Ray Nemura.

And they were busy.Boaters worldwide consider the water surrounding the Keys a premier destination.

Anglers, divers, sailors and pleasure boaters know that the island chain is unique in that from one location, you can enjoy the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and Gulf of Mexico.

But from operator error to rough seas to sudden storms, a pleasurable day on the water can quickly turn treacherous. The U.S. Coast Guard and its partners in the Coast Guard Auxiliary prepare for that reality every day.

Earlier this week, crews with Coast Guard Station Islamorada, Coast Guard Air Station Miami and Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotillas 1304 and 1308 (from the Ocean Reef Club and Islamorada, respectively) conducted several rescue drills near Carysfort Reef off northern Key Largo.

Despite 3- to 5-foot seas Tuesday, the exercises went better than planned, or as Flotilla 1308 Staff Officer David Gross described it: “Epic.”

“Today was just a wonderful day to be on the boat with my friends,” Gross said before repeating, “Epic!”

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Author: Wilson Alvarez

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