This Day in U.S. Coast Guard History – January 31
1942- HMS Culver (ex-CGC Mendota--she was one of the "Lake" Class cutters transferred to the Royal Navy in 1941 under the Lend-Lease program) was torpedoed and sunk with 13 survivors.
1948- Mrs. Fannie M. Salter, keeper of the Turkey Point Lighthouse in upper Chesapeake Bay since 1925 and the last woman keeper of a lighthouse in the United States, retired from active service. The first woman had been hired as a lighthouse keeper 150 years before. Salter's retirement temporarily closed the tradition of women serving as keepers at lighthouses.
1975-CGC Vigorous (WMEC-627) became the first cutter to make a seizure of a foreign-flag fishing vessel in the high seas when she seized the Italian fishing vessel Tontini Pesca Cuarto for illegally taking lobster. All of the other fishery seizures prior to this were of vessels that had violated territorial seas (TS) or Contiguous Fishing Zone (CFZ). At the time, Vigorous was under the command of CDR Paul Welling, USCG. The arresting officer was ENS S.T. Fuger, Jr., USCG.
2001- Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashed off the coast of California near the Channel Islands, killing all 88 on board. Coast Guard Channel Island Station crewmen responded to the tragedy.
2004-The crews of a 47-foot MLB from Station Chincoteague and a rescue helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City combined to rescue five men after their vessel began taking on water 25 miles east of Chincoteague.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)