After the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed through New Orleans in 2005, a family I’m very close to noticed water coming into their house from underneath the front door. This wasn’t a trickle. It was a fire hose. They had no idea at the time that the levee along the 17th  St. Canal, about four city blocks away from their location, had been breached because communications was one of the first victims of the storm.

Within two hours, the entire first floor of their home was underwater, and the three people in the house, two of whom were in their 70s and the daughter in her 40s, had evacuated to the upper floor. The water continued to rise, and they had no idea when it would stop.

Looking out the window from his library/office, the owner of the house saw his section of the city known as Lakeview under siege by flood waters. Single-story homes as far as he could see in any direction had only their roofs showing.

Another half hour went by, the owner of the house, a former merchant mariner, showed his wife and daughter his best game face while his insides felt as though he were plugged into a generator.

Then from outside came a voice yelling through the rain. The three family members ran to the window and, looking down, saw a small boat with three people aboard. Two were part of a U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue team.

This story repeated itself thousands of times over the next couple of days. Though the USCG was not in on every rescue, it certainly led the way. And it did the same several years later when the Midwest suffered record flooding conditions along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. And it has done the same throughout the history of the agency.

Of course, the Coast Guard is more than just search and rescue. It’s maritime safety, security and stewardship. And considering its enormous responsibilities, it does an excellent job overall.  

The only branch of the U.S. armed forces that does not have its own national museum is the Coast Guard. But one group wants that to change.  The nonprofit National Coast Guard Museum Association wants to show appreciation for the good work of the Coast Guard by supporting the capital campaign to build the National Coast Guard Museum in New London, Conn. The group has created a limited time, partnership opportunity affording valuable, lifetime branding recognition in affiliation with the Coast Guard at what would be a world-class museum.

If you have questions about the donation levels or would like to learn about additional customized opportunities to support the museum, you can contact the National Coast Guard Museum Association directly at 860-443-4200. 




Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.