Today in Coast Guard History – February 3rd

  • 1801- Treaty of peace with France was ratified on this date, thereby ending the “Quasi-War” with France, in which cutters of the Revenue Marine had rendered outstanding service.
  • 1880- Date of a terrific gale on the New Jersey coast. Six vessels came ashore with 47 persons on board all but two survived. Nineteen USLSS crewmen won Gold Life-Saving Medals during the wreck of George Taulane.
  • 1943- The torpedoing of the transport Dorchester off the coast of Greenland saw CGCs Comanche and Escanaba respond. The crew of Escanaba used a new rescue technique when pulling survivors from the water. This “retriever” technique used swimmers clad in wet suits to swim to victims in the water and secure a line to them so they could be hauled onto the ship. Although Escanaba saved 133 men (one died later) and Comanche saved 97, over 600 men were lost, including the famous “Four Chaplains” who gave up their lifejackets to those that did not have one and went down with the ship.
  • 1997-The 660-foot freighter Contship Houston ran aground on a coral reef 12 miles southeast of Key West in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The vessel, under Coast Guard supervision, was safely floated off the reef some 144 hours later.
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