This Day in Coast Guard History – March 18
1909- Stations Holly Beach, and Hereford Inlet, New Jersey: the schooner C.B. parted its chain while weighing anchor. She set a distress signal which was discovered by the lookouts at both stations. The surfboats proceeded to the scene and surfmen swept for the chain and assisted in securing it on board.
1943- USS Ingham, CG, rescued all hands from the torpedoed SS Matthew Luckenbach.
1967-The 378-foot high endurance cutter Hamilton, first in her class, was commissioned. This was the first class of major vessels in the U.S. government's inventory that were powered by jet turbines.
1991- CGC Cape Hatteras (WPB 95305) was decommissioned on 18 March 1991. She was the last 95-foot patrol boat in the Coast Guard. She was then transferred to Mexico.
1996- The single-hulled barge San Gabriel buckled and split open in rough seas, rupturing two tanks and spilling 210,000 gallons of oil in the Houston Ship Channel near Galveston, Texas. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Galveston established a joint command structure with local agencies and private contractors to isolate and then clean up the spill. Personnel from the Gulf Strike Team, MSO Houston, MSO New Orleans, Aviation Training Center Mobile, and the 8th District supplemented MSU Galveston. The majority of the spill was cleaned up in three days.
2000- CGC Thetis seized the F/V Viviana II which was grossly overloaded with 234 Ecuadorean migrants. The vessel and the migrants were turned over to the Ecuadorean Navy.
2007- The Coast Guard made the largest cocaine seizure in its history (to date) when CGCs Hamilton and Sherman seized 42,845 pound of cocaine aboard the Panamanian-flagged M/V Gatun off the coast of Panama. The Gatun was first located by a HC-130 on 17 March.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)