Boatswain’s Mate Third Class Austin Kettleson, from Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment, places a memorial wreath into the Pacific Ocean near the North Head Light in Ilwaco during a memorial ceremony Saturday. (Kaitlin Florez/U.S. Coast Guard)

Boatswain’s Mate Third Class Austin Kettleson, from Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment, places a memorial wreath into the Pacific Ocean near the North Head Light in Ilwaco during a memorial ceremony Saturday. (Kaitlin Florez/U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard ceremony honors those lost in line of duty

ILWACO — The U.S. Coast Guard paid tribute recently to Coast Guardsmen and mariners who lost their lives during seven separate accidents in the Pacific Northwest.

About 150 family, friends, former and current Coast Guardsmen and fellow mariners participated or attended the short ceremony Saturday, which included remarks from former shipmates of those who were lost, land and sea wreath ceremonies, and a bell ringing after each name was read.

“Memorials such as this are reminders of those who sailed these waters before us,” said Capt. William Timmons, commander of Sector Columbia River, in a press release. “Through these memorials, we are reminded not only of their courage, but also the risk both Coast Guardsmen and mariners face while operating in the Pacific Northwest.”

During the annual tribute, Coast Guardsmen placed a memorial wreath in the Pacific Ocean to honor those that died.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Sector Columbia River hovered over the ocean during a tribute flyover near the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Ilwaco.

The tribute recognized:

• Seven lives, five Coast Guardsmen and two mariners, lost Jan. 12, 1961, during an attempted rescue of two crew members aboard the 38-foot fishing vessel Mermaid by the crew of the 52-foot Motor Life Boat Triumph near the Columbia River Bar.

• Four lives, all Coast Guardsmen, were lost aboard a 36-foot motor life boat, Feb. 5, 1946.

• Three lives, all Coast Guardsmen, were lost of 10 aboard Coast Guard 41-foot Utility Boat 41332, Nov. 15, 1977, during night navigation training near the Columbia River Bar.

• One life, a Coast Guard aviator aboard Coast Guard aircraft 1353, Nov. 14, 1981.

• Three lives, one Coast Guardsman and two mariners, lost Jan. 11, 1991, during rescue operations of the 75-foot fishing vessel Sea King in, which two Sea King crew members were rescued near the Columbia River Bar.

• Three lives, all Coast Guardsmen, lost during the Feb. 12, 1997, rescue operations of two crew members aboard the 31-foot sailing vessel Gale Runner near the Quillayute River Bar.

• Three lives, all Coast Guard aviators aboard HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter 6017 from Air Station Sitka, Alaska, lost, July 7, 2010, during return flight from Astoria, Ore.

Gordon Huggins and Jeff Rusiecki, both former Coast Guardsmen and honorary guests at a memorial ceremony Saturday, speak about their experiences in surviving tragic accidents involving Coast Guard assets. (Levi Read/U.S. Coast Guard)

Gordon Huggins and Jeff Rusiecki, both former Coast Guardsmen and honorary guests at a memorial ceremony Saturday, speak about their experiences in surviving tragic accidents involving Coast Guard assets. (Levi Read/U.S. Coast Guard)

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