This Day in Coast Guard History – August 10
1971- President Richard Nixon signed Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, considered to be most significant legislation in the long history of federal action in this field. The new act repealed most of the Federal Boating Act of 1958 and amended the Motorboat Act of 1940.
1990- The Military Sealift Command began loading equipment and supplies from the Garden City Port in Savannah, Georgia, to support Allied operations during Operation Desert Shield. Coast Guard units, including reservists called-up specifically for this operation, maintained security zones and ensured the safe loading of the vessels.
1993-Three vessels collided at the entrance to Tampa Bay, Florida. The collision, with an explosion that shook Tampa Bay and shot a fireball hundreds of feet into the air, involved the tug Seafarer, pushing its 546-foot barge Ocean 255, which was laden with 235,000 barrels of petroleum products; the tug Fred Bouchard and its barge, B-155, which carried 122,000 barrels of oil; and the 357-foot Philippine-registered freighter Balsa 37, which was carrying 6,000 metric tons of phosphate material. Small boats from ATON Team St. Petersburg and Stations Cortez, Sand Key and St. Petersburg, CGCs Decisive, Point Steele, Sitkinak and Vise, aircraft from AIRSTA Clearwater and a crew from MSO Tampa responded. More than 300 Coast Guardsmen in total responded to battle the fire, oversee the cleanup, salvage and lightering operations. A Marine Board of Investigation convened to investigate the accident. There were no deaths or major injuries.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)