THE COMMANDANT OF THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD
29 June 1992
The Commandant of the Coast Guard takes pleasure in presenting the COAST GUARD UNIT COMMENDATION to:
USCGC TAMAROA (WMEC 166)
NEW CASTLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE
for service as set forth in the following
"For exceptionally meritorious service from 29 October 1991 to 2 November 1991 while engaged in search and rescue operations during a severe winter storm which ravaged the Northeast United States. USCGC TAMAROA (WMEC 166) encountered seas up to 30 feet and winds in excess of 50 knots while responding to a distress onboard the sailing vessel SATORI. HH-3F CG1493 was unable to hoist the three people and took up station and watched as TAMAROA launched its own rescue effort. TAMAROA's Rigid Hull Inflatable (RHI), damaged by the severe sea conditions during the launch was able to pass mustang suits to the SATORI crew. When SATORI's bow came crashing down on the RHI, the small boat rescue was no longer possible. SATORI's crew was led to the water and hoisted by CG1493. The crew of the RHI also had to be hoisted from the water due to the damage their boat sustained. While pounding north through the relentless seas, TAMAROA was diverted to assist an Air National Guard HH-60 helicopter which had been forced to ditch at sea, due to fuel exhaustion, some 90 nautical miles south of Montauk, New York. With the seas now in excess of 40 feet and winds gusting more than 80 knots, TAMAROA steamed the 15 miles in five hours. HU-25 CG2116, already on scene, sighted four men in the water fighting for their lives in the mountainous waves. CG1493 tried for 43 minutes to recover the four survivors, but the rescue basked simply blew straight back in the 60 to 70 knot winds. TAMAROA made eight approaches on the men for two hours as wave after wave crashed over the ship. The first man was brought aboard using scramble nets, eventually the other three were rescued in the same manner. TAMAROA's use of the winds and seas to recover the four men was an extraordinary effort given the 50 degree rolls, the heavy seas and 60 plus knots of wind. The valiant rescue efforts pushed TAMAROA, its crew and the air crews to the limits of endurance. The professionalism and devotion to duty exhibited by TAMAROA are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard."
The Operational Distinguishing Device is authorized.
For the Commandant,
PAUL A. WELLING
Vice Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard
Commander, Coast Guard Atlantic Area