Memorial service held for Humboldt Bay Coast Guardsman

MCINLEYVILLE, Calif. — The Coast Guard held a memorial service here today, at Azalea Hall, for the 27-year-old Coast Guardsman who died after a swimming accident April 22, 2009.

Seaman James A. Salac, a food service specialist at Group Humboldt Bay, was recovered from the Trinity River at Kimtu Beach in Willow Creek, Calif., by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department at approximately 5:30 p.m. after a 911 call alerted authorities of the emergency.

Members from the various units throughout the Coast Guard attended the memorial. Rear Adm. Paul F. Zukunft, commander of the Eleventh Coast Guard District, Lt. Cmdr. Darrel Wesley, a chaplain from Eleventh District, and Capt. Christopher A. Martino, the commanding officer of Group/Air Station Humboldt Bay, each spoke at the service.

Salac is survived by his wife and infant daughter.

“James honored us all. He stood tall, he stood confident, and he embodied the values of the service. He made us laugh and kept us ready at a moment’s notice,” said Martino. “We are all better for knowing James. The Coast Guard is better for knowing James. Thank you for all that you have done for us. You will be missed.”

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