Coast Guard Mostly Saves Very Stupid People, Study Finds

| September 16, 2018

Coast Guard

When it comes to Search and Rescue (SAR) our Coast Guard is world class. But after a while, it must get pretty repetitive saving people suffering from self-inflicted wounds. So a study was conducted, with some surprising results.

WASHINGTON, DC — Nearly 83 percent of mariner rescues since 1960 involved unrelentingly stupid behaviors and/or people, according to a recent study by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Though the service treats all search and rescue situations equally, most on-scene commanders will privately admit that a majority of the time “it was just some dumb bastard with no concern for personal safety,” according to the study’s authors.

“These statistics are unthinkable,” said Coast Guard spokesperson Lt. Carla Willmington. “Our service prides itself on response time, SAR organization, and comprehensive rescue pattern analysis. But it’s tough to stay on task when the bulk of these cases involve people paralyzed from the neck up. ”

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Category: Coast Guard, Search and Rescue

Comments (34)

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  1. MustangCryppie says:

    Well, I knew instantlly from the language that it had to be satire, but we all know this is what is said in private.

  2. 5th/77thFA says:

    I repeat, we might can’t fix stupid, but we sure can charge a lot while we work on it.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Spoken like a true Government Contractor, 5th. Know this because I was one.

      • 5th/77thFA says:

        Naw, only gubmint work I did was when I volunteered to eventually become a part of the E-4 Mafia. Kinda coined that one when I hired on with Mother Bell to build outside plant telegraph. Rebuilding broke poles, copper, and fiber optic cables after some stoopid drove thru the pole instead of around it gets time consuming and expensive. ‘Specially when that time and a half/double time thing started kicking in. My white privilege and previous green uniform was not in high demand down here in the 70s, 80s,& 90s. Didn’t even do me any good in 99 when the Mother Ship gave me a chance to show what an old man could do. There was an ass load of black females that retired from the Mother with 30 years service starting ’02. Just saying

  3. Roger in Republic says:

    Satire? I don’t think so. One of the years I spent in the coast Guard was at a lifeboat station on the Oregon coast. It was a pretty hot fishing area and we were always going out to rescue some dumbass or the other. The cases fell into two classes, trailer sailors or valley Admirals, and very dumb commercial fishermen. The small boaters would keep their boats under canvas for the whole winter and launch without doing any maintenance or prep. They would launch, use stater fluid to get it running and call us when the thing died on them several miles out into the Pacific. The commercials were for the most part too cheap to do the most basic maintenance on their boats, even to going out knowing they didn’t have the fuel to return. It got so bad during the fuel shortage in 1972/73 that the district office said we were to cite anyone we towed in that had run out of fuel with reckless operation. One stormy night we launched on a distress call on a commercial fishing boat out of Rouge River Oregon that had been broken down for two days. The only radio he had was a CB and it was weak as hell. A civilian answered his SOS and called the station via land line. W had several radar targets in the vicinity and he could not give us any position information. He finally said that he could see a blue light flashing inshore. I told the Bosn’ to secure the light. We could hear him scream in the phone that the light had gone out. We turned it back on an he was able to give us a steer to his position. We towed him in over a nasty breaking bar and tucked him into the boat basin. That night the MK1 engineman on the crew decided that he was “too old for this shit” and cancelled his reenlistment and got out.

    • AW1Ed says:

      I’ve often thought a fee of some sort was in order if a rescue was executed due to reckless behavior.

      Also, another not-satire part is my opening sentence.

      • SaraSnipe says:

        I was under the impression one was fined for having to be rescued for dumbassedness. I was working on a mud boat in the GOM when we were hailed by the Coast Guard. They asked if we could proceed to a platform out in West Delta and provide fuel (gasoline) to a pleasure craft that ran out. We responded that we only had diesel onboard. They told us never mind. I know the CG fines for blocking waterways, and other maritime violations are usually in the amount that would force one to sell their boat to pay. That keeps them off the high seas for a while, hopefully.

  4. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    Don Winslow to the rescue.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    So if some poor soul falls into a hole with a bear in it on shore, they’ll rescue the bear first, I presume?

    • AW1Ed says:

      From my SAR experience, I’d wait until the bear was finished eating and wandered off, and “rescue” whatever was left.

      • 5th/77thFA says:

        Bears gotta eat too, you know. I like bears. And instead of rescuing whatever is left, think about all the hungry worms.

        • AW1Ed says:

          There is that, but the bear’s lunch’s family would squawk and call congress critters, you get the idea.

          • 5th/77thFA says:

            I would say call in more bears, but that whole cruelty to animals thing, feeding congress critters and more idiots to defenseless bears, the horror.

  6. Mason says:

    I’d imagine rescuing people on the ocean is a lot like going on drug overdose calls. Self-inflicted and a lot of repeat customers.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      Druggie, like danger-junkies, try to push as close as they can to “near death” seeking the ultimate high.

      The more you pad the cell, the harder the inmate can self-bounce.

      Junkies will deliberately OD at or near a hospital, knowing the medics can pull them back with Narcan or whatever. That is -nuts-, but which side is the one truly crazy?

      I think is is a beautiful thing that the USA has such marvelous SAR folks, and a valuable source of legitimate national pride. I also think they need to bill the egregiously stupid rescuees.

      I am not -quite- at the point of advocating “let the fools die, to benefit the species”.

      Not -quite-, not -yet-.

      • Bill M says:

        “I am not -quite- at the point of advocating “let the fools die, to benefit the species”. ”

        That thought has crossed my mind numerous times. Was watching a reality show called ‘Nightwatch Nation’ about EMTs. Seems like every other call they go on is for some sort of drug overdose. It’s interesting to see the druggie’s response to a Narcan dose. However, are we really doing society a favor when we administer it? Tough question…

      • BigJohn says:

        I have seen 4 and 5 calls or more to the same overdose idiot. It makes you think twice. Maybe stop for fuel.

      • Mason says:

        There was a hospital here handing out Narcan auto injectors so the dropers could resurrect each other. We couldn’t get it to have in case of an accidental fentanyl exposure, but the druggies were getting it handed out like condoms at a Planned Parenthood.

  7. George V says:

    The only part of this article that lacks truth is that the CG rep stated it publicly. You KNOW they say it privately. Here in the great state of Michigan the CG is constantly rescuing ice fisherman off the Great Lakes waters when the weather warms, or the wind shifts and drives the pack ice out from shore. Inland, the county sheriffs get the call. This in spite of warnings galore about how the ice is unsafe.

    Some century, waaaay in the future, archaeologists will find a variety of snowmobiles, 4 wheel vehicles, and large decayed wooden boxes in the lakes.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      There is a fishing pond in a popular state-owned park north of me that does freeze over in the winter. Ice fishing is a big deal of up here, even though we aren’t quite in the Great Frozen North.

      I know there are lakes that are popular ice fishing spots, and you’d think that a 50-acre lake would not be one of them, but it is. And there are signs at the entrance to the park and the entrance to that small lake that say ‘ice fishing at your own risk’, meaning the park rangers will not be there to baby sit you. They do post a sign about whether or not the ice is suitably thick for ice fishing, but there are two larger lakes that hold more livestock within 8 miles of that one.

      You’d think people would go to the larger lakes, wouldn’t you? More people there ice fishing. No, they choose this smaller one – always.

      • AW1Ed says:

        I watched a Mike Rowe “Dirty Jobs” episode where they recovered a full size pick-up from the bottom of an ice fishing lake. Amazing how they did it; also amazing was the price tag for the effort.

        • jonp says:

          Step Father was a Water Quality guy for out state up in New England. Every year people put a car through the ice and every year he wrote a few tickets. Usually, if the people were good about it he let them slide on the fine but they still had to get the vehicle out.
          One guy I remember was from Mass. Put his truck through the ice and my step dad showed up of course. That guy copped an attitude and while my step dad has a great demeanor he isn’t one to play with past a certain point. Finally he had enough and told that clown his truck had to come out NOW and it was $100/day until it did. Of course, that guy couldn’t find anyone who wanted any piece of not only the punky ice but they all knew and liked my step dad and didn’t go near it. Cost that reject thousands until a few words were spoken by my step dad and someone magically had time to get it out.

      • Mason says:

        I am in the frozen north and people will still be out fishing in March five days into a week long Indian summer. No shit, standing water on top of the ice and they’re in short sleeves out there. Gotta get one more fish I guess.

        • jonp says:

          I’ve done that in the spring. It’s not unusual to have overflow in the spring and still a healthy amount of ice to stand on. The trick is to be smart enough to dig holes and see what the ice is before or on the way out and don’t push it. I know some guys that actually carry sheets of plywood out to spread their weight around while wearing life preservers. Now that is stupid.

  8. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    The United States Coast Guard, often cheating Darwin in U.S. Waters since August 4, 1790.

  9. AW1Ed says:

    Jim Dandy to the rescue!

  10. GDContractor says:

    It’s hard to explain to a kid what “man VS. nature” means nowadays.

  11. Mike W. says:

    I hate to see GREAT people risk their lives going after the STUPID. At sea, in the mountains, anywhere they stupid roam without any thought for their own safety or the safety of those who must rescue their dumb azzes.

  12. jonp says:

    When you have been raised believing your not responsible for anything you do and gubment will always be there to bail you out is it any wonder most of the rescues are because people are doing stupid things (yes, i know the op is satire). Our storm in NC is a great example. Outside of the people who tragically died through no fault of their own are hundreds of rescues of people that are just plain stupid.