Coast Guard Reservist killed in auto wreck returning home from IDT

By Peter Stinson, An Unofficial Coast Guard Blog

I am sad to report that ENS Christopher Symons, a Reservist attached to the Foreign Vessel Branch of Coast Guard Sector San Diego, was killed in an automobile accident on I-5 early this past Thursday morning near San Clemente, CA.

Ensign Symons, 23, was returning to his home in Orange County; he had just completed his first-ever boarding with the Coast Guard.

A 2007 graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; he was commissioned in the Coast Guard Reserve in August of last year having attended Reserve Officer Candidate Indoctrination in New London, CT.

Ensign Symons had just recently completed the Coast Guards Boarding Team Member course and had only just recently been qualified as a Boarding Team Member.

In his civilian life, Mr. Symons was a pilot for Piedmont Airlines, flying under the US Airways Express banner. An avid pilot, Ensign Symons hoped to some day serve on active duty with the Coast Guard as a C-130 pilot.

Before earning his commercial pilots license, Mr. Symons had worked at Disneyland as a conductor for the Disney Rail Road, a narrow gauge railroad attraction at the Anaheim, CA, park which Mr. Symons called the “best attraction in the park.” Clearly, he enjoyed toys and making people smile.

Ensign Symons came from a Coast Guard family. His father, Commander Richard Symons, is the Director of Auxiliary for the southern portion of the Eleventh Coast Guard District. Thursday was the change of command for Sector San Diego, and his father was notified of the accident during the reception following the ceremonies.

Ensign Symons was returning home from Inactive Duty for Training IDT, having worked all night with the boarding; the accident occurred around 0530 on Thursday, less than an hour after he departed the sector.

The funeral will be held on Monday in Irvine, CA. We hope that an honor detail from the Coast Guards Alexandria-based Ceremonial Honor Guard will be on hand to render full military honors.

We here at AN UNOFFICIAL COAST GUARD BLOG are keeping Ensign Symons, his family, and his shipmates in our prayers.

This sad event reminds us here of the fragility of life, and our responsibilities to watch out for our shipmates.

Editors Note:  Thank you to Peter for pointing this out and allowing the  cross posting.  Our prayers will be with Ensign Symons family and shipmates.

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  1. JR says:

    I flew with Chris at Piedmont Airlines, I went to college with him too and knew him well. Chris was an upstanding individual that was easy to admire.

    I flew Chris out on his last Piedmont flight, he was very excited to be going to San Diego and to participate in the training exercises. Chris may have gone unexpectedly, but he was very proud of everything that he had accomplished in life.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

    I’ll see you again some day, friend.

  2. A friend says:

    Rest in Peace buddy.

  3. Tiffy says:

    I will never forget walking into your open garage uninvited and just sit and watch you build model airplanes since before I can remember. You always wanted to be a pilot and you are one of the few people who followed their childhood dreams. And who can forget late night games of kick the can or fake gun fights with the whole gang. You were one of my brothers best friends since I can remember and I can’t believe you are gone. Recodo will never be the same without you and we will all miss you.

  4. John Mower says:

    I did not have the chance to meet you and I was not able to attend your memorial but I do want to pay my respects. It sounds like you were living your dream. I commend you for your service and for your dedication to being a life saver.

    Rest in God’s Perfect Peace,

    John Mower, USCGR

  5. Scott Symons says:

    Thank you so much for writing that. It depicts him very well in what he was currently doing in life. The funeral had full honors I believe. I say I believe because I do not know what full honors include.

  6. Stacy Symons says:

    I miss you, Chris. We weren’t that close but you were still my cousin and I still wanted to hang out with you. You were fun and always made me laugh and think. I’m proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished. Thanks for being an inspiration to the whole family! I love and miss you

  7. Tracy Kinloch says:

    Chris was one of the best Cast Members I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He began on the railroad while I was lead and I could not have been prouder to work with such a fine young man. I remember speaking with him during breaks and was so impressed with his intelligence and drive. I will never forget you Chris and the positive impact you had on my life and the life of others around you. You left your mark on this world in such a positive light. Your memmory will live on forever in the lives of many young people who you touched and gave inspiration to.