CGC Dorado – Serving locally and ready to deploy

Coast Guard Cutter Dorado on patrol.

Coast Guard Cutter Dorado on patrol.

Story by Seaman Mark Bollinger

It’s been an exciting year aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Dorado; 2012 was filled with firsts and more than a few exciting adventures for the crew.

While the waters of Northern California provide the Dorado’s crew with plenty of adventure, they also patrol the waters as far south as the Mexican border.  These deployments not only present the crew with welcome challenges they might not normally experience within their local area of responsibility but they are part of a valuable education experience that junior crew members will take with them throughout their Coast Guard Careers.  The change of operational tempo keeps senior members proficient in the Coast Guard’s many missions, which include search and rescue, ports and waterways and coastal security, living marine resources, drug and migrant interdiction.

Dorado’s crew responded to numerous local search and rescue cases in 2012, most notably a dual-tow case for two vessels in distress.  Luckily, the Dorado’s crew was able to escort the vessels safely back to port.

The crew maintains a close relationship with the local community.  Outreach events began in December with “Shop with a Hero,” a local charity event which gives children of lesser means the opportunity to go shopping for Christmas presents with a military member, local law enforcement personnel, an emergency medical specialist or a fire fighter.

The crew also gave a cutter tour to children from a local 6th grade class, giving them an opportunity to experience life on an 87-foot patrol boat and providing the crew with an excited audience.

During Dorado’s living marine resources training, the crew was accompanied by a California Fish and Wildlife agent, who was new to the area and to the fisheries enforcement mission.  This interaction provided valuable cross-training for the crew and for our state partner.

The city of San Francisco at sunset. Photo by Seaman Mark Bollinger

Recent training with the Coast Guard Auxiliary afforded the opportunity to train a new coxswain on the procedures for coming alongside an underway cutter and to simulate the transfer of personnel.  This was the first time our Auxiliary shipmates had had the opportunity to conduct such training.  “That was a cool experience!  Coming alongside makes you stay extremely focused on your boat handling and relative motion with the cutter,” said William Barlow, Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11 Commander and coxswain.

Other events over the past year included dry dock and dockside maintenance availabilities, preventative maintenance, and readiness inspections.  With an upcoming change of command, 2013 is already off to an exciting start.  The crew of Dorado stands Semper Paratus — ready to serve, protect and defend the country, as well as the community we call home.

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