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Coast Guard Foundation Recognizes Heroism of Two Air Station Houston Helicopter Crews In Catamaran Rescue

Awards to be Presented at Houston Event on May 13

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The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that it is honoring the heroism and dedication of two Air Station Houston helicopter crews at its tribute to the United States Coast Guard in Houston on Friday, May 13, 2016 at The Houstonian Hotel. During the event, the Coast Guard Foundation will present an award to the crew of CG-6603 and CG-6520 for saving at least one life, assisting six others and preserving over $80,000 worth of property in a July, 2015 rescue off the coast of Louisiana.

On the evening of July 30, 2015, Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston Command Center received a distress call from a 31-foot catamaran with seven people on board, including four children. The vessel was taking on water as severe thunderstorms surrounded them, with heavy rain and rough seas drifting them further into the Gulf of Mexico.

Sector Houston-Galveston immediately responded, diverting the four-man CG-6603 helicopter crew, lead by LCDR Jeremy Loeb, who were already airborne for a training mission, to locate the stricken vessel off the coast of Cameron, LA. LCDR Loeb and his crew courageously maneuvered their aircraft around multiple thunderstorms in winds reaching over 40 knots and driving rain that reduced visibility to less than one mile in their attempt to locate the catamaran. Despite the difficult and dangerous conditions, the crew located the vessel 40 nautical miles from shore and immediately established communications with the captain. The vessel’s flooding was under control, but one crewmember had become immobilized by extreme nausea and dehydration.

Running low on fuel, the CG-6603 crew passed their position to a second aircraft dispatched to the search, helicopter CG-6520 with LT Michael Kimball and his crew aboard. Armed with the information from the first helicopter on-scene, the CG-6520 crew quickly deployed rescue swimmer AST2 Jesse Weaver. The catamaran was pitching violently and altering course as much as 90 degrees in the escalating sea state. Petty Officer Weaver prepared the ill crewmember for transport and assisted him into the helicopter’s rescue basket before selflessly volunteering to remain onboard the vessel in order to expedite the survivor's transport to a nearby hospital.

“It is our pleasure to recognize the aircrews of helicopters CG-6603 and CG-6520 of Air Station Houston for their heroism and dedication to the safety of mariners in the worst conditions,” said Anne Brengle, president, Coast Guard Foundation. “Their dynamic collaboration in locating the vessel in distress, evacuating the critically ill crewmember and supervising the tow back to port exemplifies the sacrifice and dedication of the brave men and women of the Coast Guard.”

To learn more about the Coast Guard Foundation or to help support its work, please visit or call (860) 535-0786. For event information, please visit


WHO:              The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education, welfare and morale of all Coast Guard members and their families

WHAT:            Annual Tribute to the Coast Guard in Houston, Texas

WHEN:           Cocktail reception 6:30 p.m., Dinner and Program 7:30 p.m. –
Friday, May 13, 2016

WHERE:         The Houstonian Hotel, 111 N Post Oak Lane, Houston, Texas




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