This Day in Coast Guard History – August 20
1898-The American schooner, Rouse Simmons had her cargo shift to starboard, giving her a heavy list and forcing her covering board up so she leaked badly. She was sighted by the station lookout coming around the SE point of North Manitou Island. The surfboat was launched and pulled out to her. She had 4 feet of water in her hold, and was leaking too fast for her crew to keep her afloat much longer. She was anchored on the advise of the keeper and the station crew rigged out her booms to port. The pumps were then manned by all hands, spouts rigged to discharge the water overboard, and after 4 hours of work she was freed and on an even keel.
1984-A fire broke out in a stateroom aboard the 506-foot cruise ship Scandanavian Sea while the vessel was five miles off the Florida coast. The 744 passengers were mustered on the weather decks while the cruise ship's captain headed his vessel towards Port Canaveral. Coast Guardsmen from CGCs Diligence, Reliance and Steadfast; Stations Port Canaveral and Ponce De Leon Inlet; MSO Jacksonville; Group Mayport; the Gulf and Atlantic Strike Teams were ordered to Port Canaveral to help extinguish the blaze while a small boat from Station Port Canaveral got underway to escort the cruise ship to port. Local fire fighters also took part and ultimately over 150 Coast Guardsmen participated. It still took two days to extinguish the fire. One crewman and one passenger were killed and the vessel suffered extensive fire damage.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)