Coast Guard Station Bodega Bay conducts surf drills in early season swell

BODEGA BAY, Calif. – Coast Guard motor lifeboat crews from Station Bodega Bay conducted surf training with a 47-foot motor lifeboat Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009. Motor lifeboat crews took advantage of an early season swell that brought consistent 15-foot surf to the area. The crews train to ensure they are prepared to respond to distress calls and maritime emergencies during storms that bring high seas and heavy weather.

Stations Bodega Bay, Golden Gate and Humboldt Bay are three of 19 designated surf stations in the Coast Guard where specially trained boatswain’s mates known as surfmen operate the 47-foot motor lifeboat under extreme weather conditions. Surfman typically stand duty or recall 84 hours a week and they make up the smallest operational specialty in the Coast Guard today.

The 47-foot motor lifeboat is designed as a first response rescue resource used in high seas, surf, and heavy weather environments. These boats are built to withstand the most severe conditions at sea and are capable of affecting a rescue even under the most difficult circumstances. They are self-bailing, self-righting, almost unsinkable, and have a long cruising range for their size.


BODEGA BAY, Calif. – Coast Guard motor lifeboat crews from Station Bodega Bay conduct surf training with a 47-foot motor lifeboat.

BODEGA BAY, Calif. – Coast Guard motor lifeboat crews from Station Bodega Bay conduct surf training with a 47-foot motor lifeboat.

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  1. dennis brow says:

    what is any different from these pictures than the ones of CPO James Weber off Montauk Point? What is the purpose of training if it isn’t realistic? If someone had radioed in an S.O.S. that their boat was taking on water with three souls on board would the Coast Guard commander have told Chief Weber “no you can’t go save those three people, we have not trained you”? Why was he given command of a vessel if he was not authorized to pilot it for resucues? I think the Coast Guard command needs to be relieved before CPO Weber!! I am almost positive that no member of his crew would have decided to remain ashore if given the choice, versuses going out on training. Did anybody ask them if they felt endangered at any time during the training?
    Those members have my total respect!

    I anxiously await a reply.

    Thank you.

  2. cgnews says:

    I suggest you direct your question to Sector Long Island. We only report the news.

  3. Andrew says:


    Chief Weber got relieved because Station Montauk is designated as a “heavy weather” station, as opposed to a surf station such as Bodega Bay. With that, he and his crew are trained to the level of heavy weather coxswains, which permit them to train in surf up to a certain size. A surf station with qualified surf trainers are required for training in anything above that limit; that is why Coast Guard coxswains are sent to Cape Disappointment for both heavy weather and surf school. Generally speaking, any limitatation set forth by policy is waiverable when faced with a situation where a human life is at risk, but those same situations will carrry excessive risk when encountered only for training. I agree with you in that training is a noble mission and it is unfortunate that BMC Weber lost his job for being too motivated, but those actions were outside of policy and his command felt they must take action. Hope this helps to clear things up a bit for you.

    Semper Paratus!

  4. cgnews says:

    Thanks for the further clarification Andrew