By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Tuesday, August 4, marked the 225th anniversary of the United States Coast Guard.
Though stations across the country held celebrations on Tuesday, including at Sector Corpus Christi, Station South Padre Island’s observance was more reserved, said Lt. William Bell, who serves as station commander. “What we did this morning (Tuesday) is we had the entire crew outside formed up, and we observed colors,” he said. The National Anthem and the Coast Guard service song, Semper Paratus — which means “always ready” — was also played, Bell said. “It’s a good time for us to reflect,” he said.
Approximately 100 men and women serve at the station, Bell said. That includes 60-70 people stationed at the facility, including reservists, a dozen that crew the vessel Amberjack, and another dozen who make up the Aids to Navigation team, he said.
Though a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Coast Guard serves many other functions, as well. As a part of the armed services, it can conduct military operations. It also performs search and rescue operations and serves as maritime law enforcement.
In that regard, Bell says the station has been kept particularly busy lately. “We’re always out patrolling the waters of the Gulf of Mexico or the Laguna Madre.” he said. “We’ve had some disabled vessels that have been calling in that we try to help get pointed in the right direction, whether it’s helping them arrange commercial salvage or Good Samaritan assistance, or if it’s a search and rescue case, going out and saving folks from a vessel taking on water, or people in the water, whatever it might be. So we’ve had some of those cases going on recently,” he said.
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