ILWACO — The Coast Guard is scheduled to host a memorial service Saturday at 10 a.m., at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Ilwaco in tribute to Coast Guardsmen and mariners who lost their lives during seven separate tragic incidents that occurred along the Washington and Oregon coasts.
Family, friends, media, former and current Coast Guardsmen and fellow mariners are invited to attend the short ceremony and pay their respects. Scheduled events include remarks from former shipmates; land and sea wreath ceremonies; and a traditional-bell ringing after each name is read in remembrance.
"Memorials provide an important link to the past, and it is important to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice," said Capt. Jeremy Smith, commander, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. "These memorials allow us to remember the bravery and courage of those who have come before us, while also reminding us of the risks and dangers of our chosen profession."
Personnel at Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment host this memorial service annually at the beginning of the New Year in honor of Coast Guardsmen who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Along with all of those lost at sea, the memorial service recognizes:
• The four lives lost, all Coast Guardsmen aboard Motor Life Boat 36384, Feb. 5, 1946, during search efforts for two crab boats near Ocean City, Washington. The crab boats were later discovered to be safely anchored inside Willapa Bay.
• The seven lives lost, five Coast Guardsmen aboard the 52-foot Motor Life Boat Triumph and two mariners aboard the 38-foot fishing vessel Mermaid, Jan. 12, 1961, during the attempted rescue of fishermen aboard the Mermaid near the Columbia River Bar.
• The three lives lost of 10 Coast Guardsmen aboard the Coast Guard 41-foot Utility Boat 41332, Nov. 15, 1977, during night navigation training near the Columbia River Bar.
• The one life lost, Coast Guard aviator #911 aboard Coast Guard helicopter 1353, Nov. 14, 1981 during night search efforts for a fishing vessel in distress off the coast of Coos Bay, Oregon.
• The three lives lost, one Coast Guardsman and two mariners, Jan. 11, 1991, during rescue operations, of the 75-foot fishing vessel Sea King, in which two Sea King crewmembers were rescued near the Columbia River Bar.
• The three lives lost, all Coast Guardsmen aboard Motor Life Boat 44363, Feb. 12, 1997 during rescue operations of two crewmembers aboard the 31-foot sailing vessel Gale Runner near the Quillayute River Bar.
• The three lives lost, all Coast Guard aviators aboard Coast Guard helicopter 6017, July 7, 2010, near La Push, Washington. The helicopter crashed while transiting between Astoria, Oregon, and Sitka, Alaska.