January 14, 2017 was a solemn winter’s day for U.S. Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment as they held their annual memorial service in tribute to U.S. Coast Guardsmen lost in the line of duty in the Pacific Northwest. Memorial wreathes were placed into the Pacific Ocean near the North Head Light in Ilwaco, Washington as uniformed crew members manned the rails on shore in observance. Honorary speakers included Gordon Higgins and Jeff Rusiecki, both former U.S. Coast Guardsmen, who spoke of their survival experiences that involved maritime tragedies of the past. Approximately 150 family, friends, and former and current U.S. Coast Guardsmen and fellow mariners participated or attended the ceremony.
“Memorials such as this are reminders of those who sailed these waters before us,” said Captain William Timmons, Commander of Sector Columbia River. “Through these memorials, we are reminded not only of their courage, but also the risk both (U.S.) Coast Guardsmen and mariners face while operating in the Pacific Northwest.”
We at Northwest Yachting salute the U.S. Coast Guard and encourage you to thank the next U.S. Coast Guardsman you meet. They risk, and sometimes lose, their lives for the safety of us boaters in seas both fair and foul.