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Marine Safety, Security, Science &
Environmental Protection

Including Famous Shipwrecks & Other Major Marine Disasters

A photo of the Argo Merchant shipwreck

The wreck of the Liberian tanker Argo Merchant off Nantucket, 1976

General Historical Information on Marine Safety, Inspection, Licensing & Security, Including the History of the Steamboat Inspection Service & Bureau of Navigation

Merchant Marine Safety, Security & Environmental Protection: A Historical Bibliography

The Steamboat Inspection Service & the History of Marine Inspection

Steamboat Inspectors Manual: Laws Governing the Steamboat Inspection Service, 1895 (courtesy of Google Books)

Steamboat Inspection Service: Hearings Before the Committee on the Merchant Marine and Fisheries, 1916 (courtesy of Google Books)

Steamboat-Inspection Service: Its History, Activities and Organization, by Lloyd M. Short, 1922 (courtesy of Google Books)

"From Steamboat Inspection Service to U.S. Coast Guard: Marine Safety in the United States from 1838-1946," by PACS Barbara Voulgaris.

The Coast Guard At War: Marine Inspection, December 7, 1941 - July 18, 1944 (Volume 13 of the Coast Guard at War Official World War II History Series)

A History of the Coast Guard's Merchant Marine Training Program in World War II

Current Maritime Safety & Stewardship Missions

Current Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security Mission

Current Marine Safety Missions

Current Environmental Protection Mission

Marine Safety, Security & Stewardship Personnel

Marine Safety Roll of Honor: Marine Safety Personnel Lost in the Line of Duty

Captain Domenic A. Calicchio, a pioneering Coast Guard Marine Safety expert, who headed the investigation on the 1983 loss of the M/V Marine Electric among other accomplishments in a long and distinguished career in the merchant marine and Coast Guard. 

Marine Science, Stewardship & Environmental Protection

The Coast Guard and the Environment: A History MSST Galveston

Sunken Tanker Project Report, 1968: The Coast Guard surveyed a number of tankers that had been sunk during World War II to assess their possible environmental impact.

Captain Quentin Walsh's Oral History:  Captain Walsh discusses his experiences as a whaling inspector on board the American-flagged Norwegian whaling factory ship Ulysses, from 26 May 1937 to 11 April 1938.  The Ulysses cruised for 30,000 miles and killed over 3,600 whales.  In the middle of his tour, Walsh was asked to enforce new whaling regulations under the 1937 International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling. Click here to access his official report.

"LCDR Edward 'Iceberg' Smith, '13, and the 1931 Arctic Expedition of the German Airship Graf Zeppelin," an article by William H. Thiesen as published in the April 2010 issue of the Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association's publication The Bulletin, pp. 58-62.

 Suggestions to the Keepers of the U.S. Life-Saving Stations, Light-Houses, and Light-Ships, and to Other Observers, Relative to the Best Means of Collecting and Preserving Specimens of Whales and Porpoises [for study by the Smithsonian Institution], 1883.

The Weather Patrol: Volume VII of The Coast Guard at War series.  Includes information on the patrols as conducted during World War II and the early post-World War II peace-time patrols.

A History of the Coast Guard's Ocean-Weather Station Program by Captain R. P. Dinsmore, USCG (Ret.).

Coast Guard-Manned U.S. Navy frigate, USS Annapolis, on weather patrol

Locations of the Coast Guard's Ocean Stations

A History of Coast Guard Oceanography

"The U.S. Coast Guard's Office of R&D: Its Initial Half-Life (1968-1979)": A Memoir by Dr. Charles C. Bates, Science Advisor to the Commandant, 1968-1979.

"Atlantic Strike Team Synopsis, 1975-1978," by Peter A. Brunk.

"Notable Oil Spills in U.S. Waters: Calendar Years 1989-2011," an official Coast Guard report by David H. Dickey (CG-INV), 2012.

2002 Gulf SONS: Spill of National Significance Joint After Action Report

2004 California SONS: California Spill of National Significance (2004 California SONS)After Action Report (10 September 2004)

2007 SONS: 2007: Spill of National Significance Exercise (SONS 07) After Action Report (18 December 2008)

Environmental Activities of the U.S. Coast Guard.  CRS Report RS22145, 2010.

Port Security, Captains of the Port, Maritime Safety & Security

Current Ports, Waterways and Coastal Security Mission

A History of the Coast Guard's Captains of the Port

The Coast Guard At War: Port Security (Volume 18 of the Coast Guard at War Official World War II History Series, 1949).

Coast Guard Port Security and Marine Safety: A Historical Photo Gallery

"Coast Guard" Captain of the Port and Harbor Patrol "Activities on City Island, New York, during World War II," by CDR Timothy Dring, USNR (Ret.)

Seaman 2/c John Cullen's oral history: Cullen was the Coast Guardsman on beach patrol on Long Island when he came across a team of Nazi saboteurs who had just landed from a U-boat.

"The El Estero Fire and How the US Coast Guard Helped Save New York Harbor"; an article on the 1943 disaster in New York harbor that could have destroyed much of the city, by William H. Thiesen as published in Sea History 126 (Spring 2009), pp. 16-19.

A History of the Coast Guard's PACAREA Intelligence Division


Shipwrecks & Other Famous Maritime Disasters

Natural disasters and other Incidents of National Significance that the Coast Guard responded to over the course of its history.

A Coast Guard Marine Inspector looks over a wreckResearching Shipwrecks?  A Guide

Famous Shipwrecks & Major Maritime Disasters: A Historical Bibliography

Lost Lightships, Tenders & Cutters

A List of the Disaster & Shipwreck Files Held By The Historian's Office.

"Notable Oil Spills in U.S. Waters: Calendar Years 1989-2011," an official Coast Guard report by David H. Dickey (CG-INV), 2012.

"Analysis of Fishing Vessel Casualties: A Review of Lost Fishing Vessels and Crew Fatalities, 1992-2010," an official Coast Guard report by David H. Dickey (CG-5452), 2011.

"Safety Alerts, Safety Advisories, Lessons Learned, 2008-2012," an official Coast Guard Report by the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis, 2012.

Coast Guard Office of Investigation & Analysis: Merchant & Fishing Vessel Casualty Reports

Major Marine Casualty Investigative Reports & Other Information:

1904: Fire and Sinking of SS General Slocum (Report of the United States Commission of Investigation Upon the Disaster to the Steamer "General Slocum", dated 8 October 1904; with findings of the Department of Justice's Investigation).

1914: Search and rescue case regarding the grounding of the Sailing Vessel Paramita in Alaska in 1914.  Cutters Unalga and Tahoma responded to the wreck of Paramita and mutiny by the sailing vessel's passengers and crew.

1941-1945: U.S. Merchant Vessel Casualties of World War II

1947: Explosion on board SS Grand Camp, Texas City, Texas (Record of Proceedings of Board of Investigation Inquiring into Losses by First and Explosions of the French Steamship Grandcamp and U.S. Steamships Highflyer and Wilson B. Keene at Texas City, Texas, 16 & 17 April 1947, commonly referred to as the Texas City Disaster, dated 24 September 1947).

1952: SS Pendleton & Fort Mercer Rescues, 1952 (Historical Index)

1966: SS Daniel J. Morrell Sinking on Lake Huron, 29 November 1966 (US Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation Report; dated 4 October 1967).

1975: SS Edmund Fitzgerald; Sinking in Lake Superior on 10 November 1975 with Loss of Life  (U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation Report and Commandant's Action, Report No. USCG 16732/64216, dated 26 July 1977); Sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior on 10 November 1975 (National Transportation Safety Board Report NTSB-MAR-78-3; dated 4 May 1978).

1989: SS Exxon Valdez Grounding & Oil Spill (Historical Index).

2008: Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Sinking of the Uninspected Fish Processing Vessel ALASKA RANGER Official Number 550138, in the Bering Sea on 23 March 2008 with the Loss of Four Lives and One Person Missing and Presumed Dead.  U.S. Coast Guard Report 16732, 20 December 2010.

A photo of the Andrea Doria as she sinks

The Italian passenger liner Andrea Doria sinks after colliding with the Swedish liner
Stockholm, 25 July 1956, off Nantucket Island.

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Last Modified 11/20/2014