The Rick Mercer Report

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

US Coast Guard

Another addition to the show. The HH-65C "Dolphin" helicopter from Air Station Detroit in flight over Lake St. Clair approaching the Detroit River with Windsor, Ontario in the background to the left will be making an appearance in our show.

The United States Coast Guard is a military, multi-mission, maritime service within the Department of Homeland Security and one of the nation's five armed services. Its core roles are to protect the public, the environment, and U.S. economic and security interests in any maritime region in which those interests may be at risk, including international waters and America's coasts, ports, and inland waterways.

We often see them flying over and around Windsor and the unique sound they have comes from
two Turbomeca 2C2-CG Turboshaft Engines that produce 934 shp. It's an unmistakable sound.
My wife and I were on a cruise ship last spring about three hours outside of San Juan heading back to Florida when a Coast Guard Dolphin flew alongside and circled the ship. Apparently an older gentlemen had had a mild heart attack and the helicopter was dispatched from San Juan to intercept the cruise ship. The captain had radioed and made arrangements to turn the ship around so the Coast Guard could get to the ship as quickly as possible and still have fuel to return. With the cruise ship into the wind travelling at 20 knots, pitching up and down, we watched as the pilot circled a couple of times while the crew on the ship prepared the landing pad, and then delicately parked on the front deck without so much as an inch of roll when he touched down. It was amazing to watch this up close. The passengers were 20 deep with their cameras. They loaded up the passenger in short order and then lifted off the deck with such an amazing skill it was almost surreal.
Later that night at dinner it was the talk of the ship and then some.
Just knowing that there is that kind of assistance out there when you get into trouble, makes you appreciate the service and dedication these individuals have.
We welcome the US Coast Guard to our show.