This Day in Coast Guard – June 4
1954-USS Asterion and SS Kokoku Maru collided in a heavy fog 40 miles west of San Francisco, killing one crewman of the latter ship and injuring three others. The Coast Guard cutters Magnolia, Comanche, Avoyel, and patrol boat CG-95311, as well as two commercial tugs, converged on the scene. Comanche and Magnolia successfully removed all 43 survivors from the disabled Kokoku Maru, all of whom were subsequently delivered safely ashore. Although Asterion was able to proceed under its own power, the Japanese ship had to be towed by the commercial tugs to San Francisco. When the bilge pumps on one of the tugs failed, Coast Guard aircraft dropped emergency pumping equipment to control the flooding. The two tugs then successfully towed the Kokoku Maru into San Francisco harbor.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)