The Guardian, surfman, coxswain, rescue swimmer. Those words bring to mind what most people think of when they picture the United States Coast Guard and search and rescue. What is often forgotten, however, is just how did those rescuers learn about the distress? From the search and rescue controller.
Often hidden in dark windowless command centers the search and rescue controller receives the distress and sounds the alarm. It is the search and rescue controller that makes the phone call in the middle of the night alerting a family their loved one is missing, overboard, adrift or deceased.
It is the search and rescue controller that is the calm during the storm. No matter how difficult a case may be, no matter how big the waves or how hard the wind blows, the search and rescue controller must remain calm and coordinate multiple resources with the single purpose of saving lives.
Last week several search and rescue controllers from the United States Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command Center managed a case over 1,000 miles east of Bermuda. Because of their hard work 7 crewmen are alive today.
Amver salutes the controllers pictured above: LTjg Chris Porter, OS2 Faith Wisinski, OS1 Rich Hynson, Mr. Geoff Pagels, Mr. Matt Brooks, LTjg Jon Parker. Missing from the photo but also involved in the case were LTjg Matt Brinkley, LTjg Ryan Erickson, OS1 Eric Gentry, and OS2 Cullen Rafferty.
Thank you search and rescue controllers, thank you.