United States Coast Guard | Risk Takers | Episode 9 | FD Real ShowDec 29, 2021
Racing their boats across the open ocean Flying their planes and patrolling in helicopters throughout South Florida The people of the United States Coast Guard are always ready to
risktheir lives to help rescue and protect Are you thinking about the people who are there to help you are thinking about the work you are there to do the
guardstation in miami and key west fight dangerous conditions every day to enforce the law and save lives knowing that in the end we will make it up and we will to win is exciting sit right there the
guardconstantly faces unpredictable conditions with a dangerous, understood and respected part of their job members of the coast guard bravely
risktheir lives every day in the
stateshas numerous water borders to protect and the Miami Air Station is the most active air and rescue unit in the world.
They cover more than 55,000 square miles of ocean. Miami Air Station has eight HH-65 Dolphin helicopters and six HU-25 Falcon Guardian aircraft with flight crews. Continuously on standby for law enforcement or search and rescue missions while on duty Petty Officer Eric Poinder works in the swim shop on his 24-hour shifts, this award-winning rescue swimmer is always ready for emergencies the day or as soon as he receives the Called Eric heads to the locker room to prepare, the first step is to put on the wetsuit and survival equipment, meanwhile, the helicopter pilots, Lieutenant Marcus Kennedy and Lieutenant Lance Kerr, enter the operations center and brief them on a mission to buy a missing water skier 10 nautical miles away. southeast of kiba the position was last seen around 600 uh and i will pass on more details as they come to me ok understood ok orm is the operational risk management log on it marcus fills in the details of the flight writing in any Potential risks associated with the mission Lance examines the latest weather reports making sure it is safe for his team to go out.
The weather looks pretty good. We have some storms coming in from the south, but they seem to be disempowering that. Build a good coast guard. it's a man probably with someone who has stamina and determination, you know you have to have a standard for the long hours and to be able to be ready like you're in the coast guard, determination to go through the training and
really have the need to complete the job. i have the search plan i have the goggles ready to go the helicopter crew is less than 30 minutes away from launch and still has a lot to do it's not a normal nine to five job at any point in time i could be shifting gears and doing something completely different.
I couldn't imagine coming and sitting at a desk from nine to five. Can I imagine being in the ocean and getting paid to be in the ocean all day, of course the maintenance and the helicopter? Crews are hard at work preparing the helicopter for the mission. They have less than 30 minutes to prepare the helicopter for takeoff. A lot of times when people rush, they end up making mistakes, forgetting a couple things here or there and I've noticed that. that whether you run or walk, uh, but if you do things quickly, we can still meet our launch window and I can make sure I've done everything correctly when Marcus enters maintenance checkpoint and meets Justin Swearing on the flight.
Mechanic Justin has already been checking the maintenance records for the helicopter they will be flying today. Basically, we all work as a team. Everyone knows they know their duties and their jobs through hours and hours of training and everyone respects each other and each other's work. The vests that pilots wear are called sar warrior vests. They are actually inflatable life jackets filled with essential survival equipment. Should a major problem arise, these vests will be your best chance of survival. Marcus signs the plane out with fuel calculations complete and heads to the tarmac. At this point the helicopter is already inspected and filled with fuel, they finish packing the last of their equipment.
Time is crucial. It will soon be dark, making it difficult to find the motorcyclist. Eric saves all of his survival gear. He is ready to go. Justin double checks the night vision components with dusk coming soon this equipment will be essential the pilots will quickly re-inspect the helicopter one mistake and the mission could quickly turn into a disaster you are under a lot of pressure when you do these search and rescue missions it's more pressure to
showwhat I think the stress is, but you know we are trained to handle those pressures and perform well under them, less than 30 minutes after the initial call, the coast guard flies to the rescue, getting a rescue helicopter off the ground so quickly It is the result of teamwork, the pilot makes sure that his entire crew is on the same page at night, finding the person who is in the water is like finding a needle in a haystack and that is why in the coast guard we want people to use strobes or some type of light. type of light source on them as day turns into night, the pilots now have to use their night vision equipment, we use night vision goggles and the helicopter is
really technologically advanced and helps us tremendously by giving us information to help us fly in those types of flight conditions.
Over an ocean that turns black and the night around them, the pilots have trouble detecting the missing jet. I am a skier. They can't find the jet ski that may have sunk, so they focus on trying to find the survivor. Marcus was wrong. You got it. He may already be battling hypothermia and drowning as a result. Lance believes he may have seen the victim. They turn to take a second look. They come against the wind to the right. Justin, the flight mechanic, believes he saw the swimmer right next to the nose of the helicopter. The survivor.
Still afloat and conscious, the pilots prepare the helicopter to hover 25 feet above the survivor, Eric prepares for the rescue swim while Justin prepares the elevator that will lower Eric into the dark ocean below with one last check that the cable is sure. secured to his harness, your adrenaline is pumping and your adrenaline is pumping and you're not thinking about yourself at that moment, you're very selfless, so you're thinking about the people you're there to help. you're thinking about the job you have to do there justin coordinates his lifting efforts with the pilots eric must be lowered into the water because at night it's too dangerous for him to free fall justin always keeps his eyes on the rescue swimmer in case If something were to go wrong flames on the water ramp Now that the motorcyclist is inside and safe, they turn off their night vision the pilots must keep the helicopter in hover until Eric has fully administered the necessary medical care and secured the survivor Eric first checks blood pressure and respiratory rate of the survivor hypothermia is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention, they need to get this man to the hospital as quickly as possible Eric now turns his attention to the flight team and begins to brief them on the current situation The survivor looks a little epidermal, but we're warming them up back here, putting some blankets on them, he seems pretty stable at this point, I started him on an IV and he gave us the flu.
His back looks a little dehydrated and all. could uh could be causing his ultraviolet state he said he could have hit his head so he had a possible head injury right now he's in and out of this I'm just keeping a weight down and hopefully we get there pretty quickly understood keep doing that right now we're about 10 miles south of jacksonville hospital we'll be on deck there in about five minutes we'll have medical staff ready to help you with the patient hey it looks like i'm clear heading south i have nothing on tcas get down to the right road the The hospital is equipped with a helipad but landing on a rooftop in the middle of the city also has its challenges with the helicopter landing safely.
Eric accompanies the survivor inside the hospital where a team of doctors and nurses are awaiting the mission. Accomplished for Eric and his team they can now return to base knowing they have saved another life. This is just one of the 4,000 cases the Coast Guard will face this year that are submitted daily. The life-saving foundation is part of his work with a flyover of beautiful downtown Miami. The rescue team is now returning to its base at Opa-loka Airport, near Miami Lakes Air Station. Miami has an army of mechanics who continually maintain its fleet of Falcon and Dolphin aircraft.
The helicopters must always be kept in top condition and ready to go in seconds. Pilots Marcus Kennedy and Lance Kerr have to constantly train and hone their skills to perform difficult maneuvers with the Dolphin helicopter. This is a simulated tail rotor failure in which pilots have to practice a technique that allows them to land an airplane with a faulty tail rotor. This procedure requires the pilot to approach the runway with the aircraft's nose tilted to the right and then, through careful coordination of the controls, execute a roll landing. straightening the nose just before landing in the coast guard, swimmers must also stay in excellent shape and motivating young recruits is part of their job.
Hey guys, Miller says he loves push-ups, clean up your break. They know there aren't too many jobs out there where you can say they pay you to exercise, come on, come on, now they execute clockwise and counterclockwise pedal turns to allow them to get views of 360 degrees of your search areas. The strength of a helicopter is its ability to hover, which every pilot must master. the various skills associated with hovering the next challenge is flying backwards which is much more complex and dangerous than putting your car in reverse what a miller it's such a beautiful day here in miami you want to do flutter kicks come on flutter kicks , get there, the swimmers.
They train the same way military personnel do the hard way, they have to be able to carry twice their body weight, often in difficult conditions, when you train and train as much as we do and you can finally go in and do your job. I think it is a gratifying point, your toes, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on, rescue, swimming is alive for me, rescue, rescue, there is no resignation in our work and that has been instilled in us from the first day, no one in our work gives up now, Marcus and Lance.
They are flying 50 miles offshore for their final and most challenging training today landing on a moving ship at night this is the mohawk a 270 foot coast guard cutter with a helicopter launch and marcus must wait until dark before landing on the move boats, definitely the riskiest maneuver we do is flying over the water at night before landing, they tell you what their speed is so you have an idea, but they are trying to get there as fast as they can. to give it more wind through the rotor head for the helicopter to make it easier to get in and land, but it's all visual, it's all me, just that perception of seeing how fast they're moving and how fast I need to catch up to them . them at night over the water when you go to the cutter um it looks like a black hole it's almost like you're in outer space and you're trying to dock with a space shuttle or something the cutters are the coast guard pretty small compared to most the military style ships, one pilot is definitely always on the instruments and the other pilot is always watching, it's always been the strangest thing to come and land and to have someone standing so close right in front of you when you're coming and landing is definitely, By far the most unique thing we do.
This is one of the most difficult maneuvers a helicopter pilot needs to perform. Any mistake could be disastrous when Falcon Jet crews are not patrolling for law enforcement working at the base. Performing collateral duties, the jet's two pilots are Lieutenant Jason Barrett and Co-pilot Lieutenant Stasha Kwiklinski. I feel privileged not because I'm a woman but because I get to do this as a job every day, so it's a really fun job and I enjoy it. and the people I work with are really great and I really believe in what we do as a service. This is a search and rescue call.
This is the time when they have trained so hard for our lunch, and Falcon for our recreational boat that goes to sea. 10 nautical miles east of Fort Lauderdale now launches Ready 65 for Star Wars Ready 65. The helicopter crew is also required on this mission asthat dispatchers are unsure about the status of the vessel and survivors. 26 foot Grady Light taken in the water about 20 miles from Baker's Hollywood, um, there were five groups and they gave me this approximate location. They just faxed the search area and if you have any questions, call them. Okay, great discussion while Jason studies the quests.
Dasha checks the local weather forecast. I just want to let you know that Jason calls the air traffic control tower heading up the coast today east of Fort Lauderdale. In three hours we should take off in 30 minutes. Okay thanks. If you need anything, call me. in uniform cool thanks mike see you uh we'll radio you on the way out thanks jason and stacia head to the maintenance control room for information on the plane they'll be using 26ft Grady White about 15 miles east of Bakers Hall we're taking on water, so if we can make sure we have a second pump there, oh, contact the swimmer store.
I apreciate it. Jamar Jones, an aviation electrical technician will accompany on the right. Let me try the crew, thanks. Both the plane and the helicopter are now ready for their cruise. The Falcon aircraft weighs more than 12 tons and has a fuel capacity of 10,430 pounds, allowing it to stay in the air for more than five hours. You must inspect the plane before taking off. The helicopter crew is also preparing the pilot. Lance Kerr performs a pre-flight check in the Dolphin helicopter. The delivery manager monitors the spin of the powerful engines to ensure that both are operating correctly.
The jet taxis. To the runway, they have been cleared to take off in 25 seconds. The Falcon plane accelerates down the runway reaching 150 miles per hour before takeoff. Its maximum speed is 470 miles per hour. A few seconds later, the helicopter takes off. Alright guys, so. I'm short here, I'm going in search of this vessel that's taking on water and they're about 20 miles away now while Marcus is piloting to rendezvous with the booster lance he briefs the crew on the final details of the mission, if you see. I'm slowing down, that means we're not going to get under the floats, if the pump isn't working, if the boat is taking in more water than we can handle, we're going to go ahead and get them off the boat and hoist them up. up through the basket or if they are injured anyway, we will adjust as necessary the crew of the fastest moving jet gets to the scene first and locates the ship in distress, they transmit the coordinates to the crew of the helicopter approaching the jet coupe will try to launch a bomb at the sinking ship, a jet flying low over the ocean with the hatch open is very dangerous if you are low and for some reason you lose an engine, it could be only a few seconds before you have to hit the water.
Your first response should be to immediately close the drought zone, the drop master unlocks the safety pin and waits for the command. The bomb is attached to a parachute that opens immediately and allows the rescue team to gently descend to the boat taking on water at a speed of 155 miles per hour at 200 feet altitude. The pilots have been able to drop the bomb at only 15 feet from your target. Good job, the launch master must immediately close the hatch, understood, we are installing a bomb right now, ten minutes after the plane took off. visual contact with the damaged ship the helicopter crew arrives on the scene with the blue roof the ship's crew must operate the pump and work quickly while their ship continues to take in water if the pump can remove the water faster than it enters the ship We will be safe The jet crew is still flying nearby They have a spare life raft if necessary The helicopter is pumping but we are still taking in water faster than the pump can pump Let's get the helicopter into position to drop our swimmer off rescue yes sir, we copied that very well, speed is good for the door, okay, he grabs the procedures in the back, just have me on your shoulder, let me know what's going on, ready, he's back, eric calls for radio to the crew to give them an update on the rescue helicopter.
The first survivor jumps into the water to be towed toward the helicopter at an altitude of about 30 feet. I've got a bit of a strange legion falling, survivors closing in as Justin draws in the first survivor. Everything he can think of. These are the other four survivors who are still trapped on the boat under calls from the Miami air station to check the fuel situation with strong winds pushing the helicopter. The pilots must work very hard to maintain a constant flight with the mission approaching a successful end. The crew of the Falcon Jet. I can return to Miami Air Station.
My parents are worried about the risks we take every day. They always tell me that there are bold pilots and old pilots, but there are no bold old pilots, so that is their constant reminder to me. be careful and do not accept a necessary risk on the base eric is visited by his daughter and his pregnant wife the whole family will soon be moving to the coast guard station in kodiak alaska my immediate plans are to go to kodiak alaska i am actually being transferred there with my wife, my daughter and my soon-to-be-born son, a good friend of mine said, Eric, you haven't done rescue swimming work unless you come to Kodiak in Kodiak, the elements, the weather, it's like that.
Much more extreme, you don't necessarily want bad things to happen, but you want to be the man on call when those bad things happen. I'm excited about the harsh conditions in Alaska, the training the coast guard has put me through is finally going to happen. Get in one and I'll be able to do the job to the best of my ability. I'll leave the worrying part to my wife. Located 90 miles from Cuba and south of Miami, there are three coast guard stations at the end of Florida. The keys are the Key West sector here the coast guard crews patrol primarily with boats the coast guard base has five vessels, two 270 foot patrol boats and three small patrol boats ranging from 25 to 47 feet in length, this boat 33 feet long carries a crew of four is a fast and stable machine capable of withstanding winds of 35 miles per hour has a maximum speed of 60 miles per hour Almost all four crew members are classified boat drivers or official coxswains boarding boat engineers and gunners we have people from all over the country that work with us to do this and the key for us is train, train, train, we need to train team coordination, get everyone on the same page, the crew needs to train continually in dangerous pursuit tactics, everyone knows their roles before arriving at the scene, this reduces the risk that they must also train by firing their weapons at moving targets.
I don't know personally if I need to take the risk. It's part of the job and actually it's probably the part of the job that makes me come to work. Some things you learn not to tell your friends. wife or your mother gets a little nervous the training exercise is over the crew goes out on patrol they get a call about a stranded boater and they respond immediately this boat has run out of gas stations you have a life jacket on you or on board your boat somewhere I just need to see one again. I didn't ask all that.
I just asked if he had a life jacket. You're doing a security check, aren't you, sir? After putting on a life jacket he basically wastes my time checking my sh ok its your job upon arrival the coast guard immediately suspects something. I'm trying to go to our damn birthday party in Spanish. Now what you have to do is come back here and sit down. Why don't you get on your boat? and you guys check my boat first, that's right, actually, it's not a bad idea, the best idea for you, okay gentlemen, I mean America, right, the man is intoxicated, this is not safe in the ocean , dissatisfied, I'm angry, oh, I ran.
I ran out of gas I couldn't get help when I got it You all didn't care I wish I had a drink simple question simple question how much have you drunk today? I didn't have anything, uh, yourself, I had two, two beers, what kind of drink two drinks what kind were they alcoholic drinks okay, okay, they're in the cooler, okay, do you sit down when I treat you to that? Please cry, yes guys, come on board, okay, calm down, notify the station, we have a person on. on board uh the subject is very unhappy and possibly intoxicated uh wait for more information this aggressive man has the potential to become violent he should be restrained for his own protection oh my goodness you are kidding you are kidding another coast guard vessel will do it Tow your boat to shore uh sir, am I under arrest?
I'm under arrest no you're not you're being detained by yourself don't leave me before you're under arrest am I under arrest? We're going back to the station doing some field sobriety tests. Where is my boat going? Let's go back to the station with us yeah our screen is okay, okay, you'll relax now, now you said something okay, okay, just relax, okay, I have no idea what's going on, you put on your glasses and then we told the ship or the five five fingers of the ship. no no no no no no no no no no no trust me another coast guard ship is in our hands the same place is in our custody right now we will take care of it there you go yes of course you can the doctors are That kid, okay, it's something it's going to sound like chlamydia, yeah, just take these clothes off of me, I'm not tough, that's right, just sit down, you're good kids, tell me what you want me to do, come up, grab my jacket, yeah, I got to warm me up step on that belly you're okay, you're okay, it's okay, we're going to walk you here, I gave you my word, hey, he's turned himself in to the local police, we're going to transfer this case to the Florida fish and game commission, are they going to have the ability to prosecute as a case of voting under the influence?
We're federal, they're state, so we're just going to close our end of the deal, give them all our paperwork and they'll accept it. From there, all officers help train the new recruits. An important duty is to maintain his composure while, potentially incapacitated, there are chances that in the field he will be sprayed and the pepper spray will return to his face when he is twisted, so it is not a surprise to him once he enters. the field um, how will he feel, he will know first hand that it's going to hurt, but I have to deal with it, get over it, huey will spray the irritating pepper spray in the recruit's face with his eyes open, find your subject, Kevin playing the criminal.
He mistreats them opens his eyes he keeps talking despite the pain the recruits must learn to defend themselves that's all get out of here the average effect lasts around 30 minutes I just have to remember to breathe and control myself to be able to get through and get over it, tell you that it's going to happen fall now, no, maybe you're not there, you get it, it's okay, sure, eyes closed, face up, find your subject, come back, come back, protect your weapons. I've been spraying Carter, he goes back to protecting your gun. come back, open your eyes, come back, get them back, come back, come back strong, come back, come back, stay back, there you go, stay back, remember you're not the aggressor, come back, find your subject, come back, stay back, stay back, Help me get back, it's okay. jessica get off the floor get off the floor cross your feet get on the floor yes we have had people who don't even mind it they just wipe it off their face and then leave almost as usual and then we have had people who couldn't handle it at all, they had to stop the drill completely fine in this three-day shift.
Kevin has not yet dealt with any migrant smuggling cases, which is unusual for this time of year. and the weather seems appropriate for traffic, he will check the computer for new intelligence. Cuba is just 90 miles south of here. Looks like what I'm looking for here. If we have any intelligence on fast boats or chug chug rafts. Leaving Cuba and driving at this time, starting at 10 o'clock this morning, we have the possibility of a raft of buckets with an unknown number of people who left. It looks like Havana, Cuba at this time. They are generally chugs or rafts like that.
They only travel between three and five knots, so being 90 miles away between 15 and 20 hours before they get here, right now we have intelligence on a fast vehicle black with white stripes, two outboard motors, which It is common on smuggling vessels, so it seems that from today the migratory activity is going to increase, once the weather calms down, it seems that it is out today. Our activity with migrant trafficking tends to increase. It's been a little slow with the weather and that's our job. that's what we hope for, so I hope that with the stable weather we will get an interdiction whileWe wait for a new case, the crew plays against other Coast Guard colleagues to stay in shape of all the units in the Key West sector.
The station is probably the most competitive, we hate to lose. It is late afternoon and the men have not yet been called. Suddenly the alarm sounds and they are already heading north. 2i 30 nautical miles south of Key West Poker. 1 Recent intelligence has detected possible smugglers who are moving fast. As they approach shore, the men load their .40-caliber pistols at the cleaning station. These guns are crucial for personal defense. It's an adrenaline rush and just knowing that we have the boats and the equipment to stop these boats knowing that we will get there in the end. at the top and we're going to win, it's the thrill of it, we're going to get very close to just a few feet from another boat and it can be quite scary staying in Key West 26, good man, see the suspicious vote that rushes out of the At the moment when who see the coast guard American talent 2-6 talent 2-6 we are on scene in position 2-4-3-2-0-8-1-4-9 heading north, they accelerate, that is their maximum adrenaline, TRUE? there stop your ship stop your ship this is the
statescoast guard the united states coast guard investor still refuses to stop step one and step two is ineffective the ships continue to force north the The possibility of a smuggler having a weapon is very high and the way we prepare because we are walking into the unknown these men are obviously involved in some illegal activity we have a clear and non-destructive view of the album this requires warning shots to deal with to convince the driver to stop the coast guard must do whatever is necessary to stop this ship without harming the occupants m16 and fire warning shots in front of the ship the rapid still refuses to stop ready now damian takes position to shoot at The boat's engines with your shotgun target the center of the outboard motor.
The dastardly smugglers quickly realize that they have no chance of outrunning the fastest boat, but that doesn't mean the fight is over. Our crew must be on guard as these men could be armed. I have more people ahead. Keep an eye on that one. A Cuban family is found under the tarp. one family just one family any gun you get any gun these smugglers have no safety equipment this angers our crew who have witnessed too many unnecessary drownings in the past speak english migrant smugglers in my opinion are the lowest of allunder, the Most of them are people on parole who are just looking to make a quick buck.
They are not prudent sailors. They are some of the worst boat drivers I have ever seen. I have no sympathy for them. They care about a human life, an adult, two children received a knife, they do not take into account their own lives, the lives of the Cubans they are picking up or the greetings for the police units that are chasing them once you put the restrictions on them . relief the mission is carried out safely your crew is safe the smugglers themselves are safe and the migrants on board are safe thank you I will put the two smugglers on the bow the migrants will be returned to the country and the traffickers will be arrested we take risks, there are moments when you know you remember and say: "My God, how did I experience that?" and then that happens, sometimes, you know, after a high-speed chase, when we'll all be sitting inside the cabin and we're gone.
Did you see how close we got to that guy and you know there's a little bit of laughter about it, but you can tell sometimes it's nervous laughter, but we're all here. The United States Coast Guard is a brave group of men and women, whether they work. day or night from boats, planes or helicopters, everyone works hard to protect the public, the marine environment and the security of their country.
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