Coast Guard

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Surf\'s Up
Surf's Up
A fast-response Coast Guard rigid-hull-inflatable boat flies over the water on Lake Michigan off Ludington.
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Rough Riders
Rough Riders
Like a tank on the water, Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat 44345 pounds through breaking surf. The self-righting rescue boat and her crews aided mariners in distress between Big and Little Sable Points for more than 35 years.
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November Storm in Grand Haven (8744)
November Storm in Grand Haven (8744)
November Storm in Grand Haven
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Envious
Envious
Envious
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To The Rescue
To The Rescue
Strapped to their 44-foot rescue boat and hanging on as the small but mighty vessel takes on another huge Lake Michigan wave, Ludington Coast Guardsmen head into the teeth of a storm. If it were to capsize, the boat is designed to right itself within 15 seconds and forge ahead. Crews purposely go out to train in such weather conditions in order to be able to safely and successfully aid mariners in distress in similar wind and seas. As a Coast Guard Reservist, I have served as a "coxswain" or captain of this incredible vessel for more than 25 years. Oh to have been able to take photographs during some of those boat rides! I scrambled part way out the Ludington north breakwall to take this off-duty photograph. I think it speaks volumes and will always be one of my favorite photographs, especially because I like to think of 44345 as a best friend, one that never has failed me and never will.
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Always Ready
Always Ready
For more than a quarter century, Coast Guard Station Ludington has been my home away from home. While standing duty as a Coast Guard Reservist, I have taken pleasure in thousands of hours observing and appreciating the often sudden-changing weather on Lake Michigan. After a summer duty weekend, I was about to head home when an approaching weather front provided a stunning backdrop for the station's self-righting motor lifeboat and Zodiac fast response boat.
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On Guard
On Guard
Petty Officer Barry Schultz stands lookout watch aboard MLB44345. Schultz also serves as one of the motor lifeboat's engineers. They are responsible for keeping the Coast Guard rescue boat's twin diesel engines, and other machinery, maintained and operating properly. The boat looks and operates as if new despite having served as Coast Guard Station Ludington's heavy weather rescue boat since 1965.
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Ice Breaking Coast Guard Biscayne Bay (8277)
Ice Breaking Coast Guard Biscayne Bay (8277)
Ice Breaking Coast Guard Biscayne Bay
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Manistee Lighthouse and USCG (9140)
Manistee Lighthouse and USCG (9140)
Manistee Lighthouse and USCG
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Making the Rounds
Making the Rounds
Coast Guard Station Manistee's 45-foot rescue boat heads past Manistee Lighthouse on a Lake Michigan patrol. A summer squall has passed and the Coast Guardsmen are making certain mariners in the vicinity are safe.
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Break Time
Break Time
When the ice on the Great Lakes starts impeding shipping, Coast Guard icebreakers bust open paths. On this ice-cold February morning the Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay breaks ice in Ludington harbor.
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Coast Guard Showpiece
Coast Guard Showpiece
The 225-foot-long Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock looks inspection-ready after arriving in Grand Haven for the annual Coast Guard Festival. Thousands of people will tour the Port Huron based buoy tender during the festival. The Hollyhock is responsible for about 150 aids to navigation in the lower Great Lakes. It also performs icebreaking, search and rescue, and environmental protection duties.
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Motor Life Boat 44359
Motor Life Boat 44359
Self-righting motor lifeboats like this Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel are designed to survive and thrive in high seas. This 44-foot vessel, 44359, crushes a large Lake Michigan wave during a patrol from Port Sheldon to Muskegon. I had the honor and privilege of driving 44s for over 30 years.
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A Grand Adventure - Panoramic
A Grand Adventure - Panoramic
During a two-boat, Coast Guard Auxiliary Safety Patrol from the Holland area to Muskegon, I wanted to make an image from the 44-foot patrol boat I am on of the 41-foot patrol boat passing by Coast Guard City USA, Grand Haven, Michigan. I am grateful to the Auxiliarists who have made this voyage possible for Brad and me.
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A Grand Adventure
A Grand Adventure
During a two-boat, Coast Guard Auxiliary Safety Patrol from the Holland area to Muskegon, I wanted to make an image from the 44-foot patrol boat I am on of the 41-foot patrol boat passing by Coast Guard City USA, Grand Haven, Michigan. I am grateful to the Auxiliarists who have made this voyage possible for Brad and me. Nikon D800. F6.3 at 1/1600, ISO 800. 70-200mm lens at 82mm. Handheld without a flash. October 22, 2017 at 12:15pm.
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Lofty Lifesavers
Lofty Lifesavers
A Coast Guard helicopter flies right over me as I am photographing stormy seas on the Lake Michigan shoreline. I make the shot of these aerial lifesavers after having only seconds to change camera shutter speed and aperture in order to render the helicopter sharp but its rotor blades blurred to show their motion. F8 at 1/640, ISO 800, 80-200mm lens at 200mm
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Todd Reed\'s Day 140 of 365
Todd Reed's Day 140 of 365
The former Coast Guard Cutter Snohomish looks shipshape docked on Pere Marquette Lake at the Lake Michigan Carferry docks. The privately owned 110-foot tug was built in 1943. F4.0 at 1/125, ISO 200, 12-24 mm lens at 24 mm
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Todd Reed\'s Day 148 of 365
Todd Reed's Day 148 of 365
As Coast Guard helicopter 6544 escorts the carferry Badger out of port on the ship's first sailing of the season, I cannot help but think back to the hundreds of times during my 33 years aboard Coast Guard boats that we worked closely with the rescue copters. F5.6 at 1/320, ISO 100, 80-200 mm lens at 130 mm
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Todd Reed\'s Day 162 of 365
Todd Reed's Day 162 of 365
The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw looks formidable as it docks in Ludington during the three-year-old ship's first visit to this port. The icebreaker stopped in Ludington before heading to Wisconsin to the shipyard. F7.1 at 1/400, ISO 100, 80-200 mm lens at 120 mm
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Rescue Relic
Rescue Relic
As a retired Coast Guard boatswain's mate, I am very impressed by the squared-away, ready-for-operations condition of this restored 26-foot motor surfboat at Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven. If only the small but sturdy rescue boat could talk. I cannot imagine the stories it could tell of search and rescue missions on Lake Michigan out of Pentwater during the early 1900s. The wooden vessel's four-cylinder engine propelled it at eight to eight and a half knots. Tin sheathing helped protect it. F22 at 1/5, ISO 200, 14-24mm lens at 20mm
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