This Day in Coast Guard History – Dec. 8

Monday, December 07, 2009

1904-An Executive Order extended the jurisdiction of the Lighthouse Service to the noncontiguous territory of the Midway Islands.

1941-Coast Guardsmen seized all nine Finnish vessels that were currently in U.S. ports and placed them in "protective custody" to "prevent the commission of any acts of sabotage" on orders from the Navy Department.  Twenty-four hours later the Coast Guard removed the crews from each of the vessels.  This action was ordered soon after the break in diplomatic relations between Great Britain and Finland.  The following Finish vessels were seized: SS Olivia, at Boston, Massachusetts; SS Kurikka, SS Jourtanes, and SS Saimaa at New York, New York; SS Advance, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; SS Aagot and SS Marisa Thorden at Baltimore; SS Aurora, at Newport News, Virginia; and SS Delaware, at Galveston, Texas.

1983- Four cutters arrived off of the island of Grenada to replace U.S. Navy surface forces conducting surveillance operations after the U.S. invaded the island earlier that year.  The cutters involved were the Cape Gull, Cape Fox, Cape Shoalwater, and the Sagebrush.

2004-The 738-foot freighter Selendang Ayu grounded and broke in two December 8, 2004, offshore of Spray Cape, Unalaska.  A Coast Guard HH-60J crashed after rescuing seven of the freighter's crew; a helicopter from the CGC Alex Haley rescued the survivors, including all of the Coast Guard personnel.  The Alex Haley then rescued the remaining crewmen still aboard the freighter.  The vessel was carrying soybeans and approximately 470,000 gallons of fuel oil (IFO380), of which roughly 144,000 gallons were removed during lightering operations in January and February of 2005.

(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)

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