Today in Coast Guard History – March 24th

  • 1909- Muskeget, Massachusetts: the schooner Vigilant parted moorings, and stranded one mile south of the station. The owner applied to the keeper at 10:30 p.m. for assistance. Surfmen proceeded to the scene, carried out an anchor and line, and hove the schooner into deep water. During the storm the owner was sheltered and supplied with meals at the station for two days. But for the security afforded by an additional anchor and cable loaned by the crew, Vigilant would have stranded a second time.
  • 1920-The first Coast Guard air station was established at Morehead City, North Carolina. The station was closed on 1 July 1921 due to a lack of funding.
  • 1989- The tanker Exxon Valdez grounded on a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 10.1 million gallons of crude oil. This was the worst oil spill in U.S. history to date. Coast Guard units responded and prevented the entire cargo from spilling, cleaned up the oil which did spill, and conducted an investigation into the causes of the accident. The spill provided the impetus for the passage of the Oil Protection Act of 1990, which greatly increased the Coast Guard’s role in protecting the nation against spills.
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