Congressman Elijah E. Cummings will chair a hearing of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, to review the Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Mission. The hearing will be held Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2167.
Rear Admiral Sally Brice-O’Hara, Deputy Commandant for Operations will represent the Coast Guard during the hearing.
Part of Chairman Cummings’ opening statement reads: “The SAR mission is one that the Coast Guard performs on a daily basis and is a mission central to what our Coast Guard is – a service of guardians willing to risk their own lives to save those in peril. The SAR mission is also a mission that the Coast Guard generally performs with great efficiency and with exceptional distinction. Every year, the service responds to tens of thousands of persons in distress and saves thousands of lives. . . To put it simply, each SAR case represents a life on the line – and we must ensure that the hand extended to those in distress is as strong as it can possibly be.”
In 2008, the Coast Guard prosecuted over 24,000 search and rescue cases, saved 4,910 lives and assisted an additional 31,628 people in distress. Along with these successes, the subcommittee is likely to explore SAR performance and lessons learned from a few previous cases where the outcomes may not have been ideal.