Coast Guard Celebrates 215 Years of Service

Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Local Coast Guard units plan on celebrating the Coast Guard's 215th year of serving the American public and protecting the nations waterways tomorrow. August 4, 1790, the Revenue Cutter Service was born when the 1st Congress approved the building of 10 cutters to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling and protect the collection of the federal revenue, all while defending the young nation. The U.S. Life Saving Service was later created in response to a series of shipping accidents along the Eastern coast. Lifesaving stations were created up and down the coast and were often times manned by local towns people who carried out the rescue of shipwreck survivors. Since that date, the Light House Service, the Life Saving Service, the Steamboat Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Navigation have combined with the Revenue Cutter Service to form what is now known as the nation’s oldest continuous sea-going service and premier maritime agency, the United States Coast Guard. The modern missions of the Coast Guard are directly tied to the diverse achievements and legacy of these other services. Every day the Coast Guard continues to serve as the nation’s front-line agency for a multitude of maritime missions, including protecting our coastline and ports, enforcing maritime laws, saving lives of mariners in distress, protecting the environment and maintaining aids to navigation. Each year the Coast Guard responds to over 31,500 search and rescue cases, saves over 4,700 lives and $128 million worth of property, responds to over 3,500 oil or chemical spills and stops over 41 metric tons of illegal drugs from entering the country.

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