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Coast Guard History In Alaska

A Short History Of The Bering Sea Patrol


tender Shubrick The United States Coast Guard has a long history of service to Alaska. In 1865, the U. S. Lighthouse Service’s tender Shubrick, then operating under the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, became the service’s first unit to touch Russian Alaska’s coastline. The tender was the flagship supporting Western Union’s expedition to string a telegraph cable from North America to St. Petersburg, Russia. The plan was overtaken by the laying of the Atlantic cable. (The U. S. Lighthouse Service was made a part of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in 1939.) It was the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, however, that had the most contact with early Alaska. In 1867, the service transported the first federal officials to the new territory. From this modest beginning, cutters would eventually sail into the Bering Sea and the Arctic. The work in Alaska’s western and northern waters would become known as the Bering Sea Patrol. In 1915, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (USRCS) was amalgamated with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to form the USCG. The story of the USRCS and the USCG in the Bering Sea and Arctic is a study in microcosm of the multifaceted duties of the two services... Continue Reading

The Overland Expedition: A Coast Guard Triumph


The overland expedition sets out News of the whalers’ peril was brought out of the Arctic by the whaleship KARLUK. Whaling interests in San Francisco, through the city Chamber of Commerce, immediately petitioned President McKinley for assistance. Over the years, the whaling industry had suffered a series of heavy blows. In 1865 the Confederate raider SHENANDOAH sank eleven whaling vessels. In 1871, thirty-three New Bedford whaling ships had been trapped in the ice and crushed off Point Barrow. Twelve hundred crewmen barely escaped with their lives. Five years later fifty-three men and thirteen vessels laden with bone and oil were lost in the same area. Other less spectacular disasters had taken a steady toll of lives and property in the Arctic... Continue Reading

The Coast Guard in Alaska And Hawaii


The last two states to join the Union, Alaska and Hawaii , encompass some of the most rugged and isolated terrain in the United States . Since the 19th century, the Coast Guard and its predecessor agencies have enforced maritime laws, assisted distressed mariners, and insured that ships were safely outfitted for sea in these remote areas. The story of this service to others begins with three small federal maritime organizations. It is important to trace these agencies for they laid the foundations of today’s Coast Guard. Two of the three organizations dominate the maritime history of both these unique states... Continue Reading

Coast Guard Ice Operations


the icebreaker CGC Healy 14 U.S.C. 2: "The Coast Guard shall develop, maintain, and operate with due regard to the requirements of national defense, aids to navigation, icebreaking facilities, and rescue facilities for the promotion of safety on and over the high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; and pursuant to international agreements, operate icebreaking facilities on waters other than high seas and waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States." Specifies one of the duties of the Coast Guard is to engage in oceanographic research... Continue Reading

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Last Modified 9/9/2014