North Bend, Ore. - Chief Warrant Officer Rick L. Spencer handed over the helm of the National Motor Lifeboat School, the U.S. Coast Guard's only rough water rescue training center, to Chief Warrant Officer Michael Russell Friday during a ceremony honoring Spencer's 34-year career in the Coast Guard.
As the commanding officer for the school, which is near Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, Wash., Russell oversees as many as 150 students each year in their training on various aspects of operating the motor lifeboats. These trained members of the Coast Guard use what they learn in emergency rescues across the United States.
In his 34-years with the Coast Guard, Spencer also served as commanding officer at Station Umpqua River in Winchester Bay in 2001. He was assigned to the lifeboat school in 2005. He now plans to retire and move to North Bend.