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The Coast Guard's Role in 9-11

By September 11, 2009

As we take time to remember those who perished in the 9-11 attacks and the heroism of rescue professionals, a new book, "Rescue Warriors" tells of the Coast Guard's role on 9-11 and the largest maritime evacuation in history.

In “Rescue Warriors – The U.S. Coast Guard, America’s Forgotten Heroes,” author David Helvarg recounts how as panicked throngs began fleeing the smoke cloud from the collapsing towers, the Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) New York put out a call for all available boats in the harbor to go to Battery Park and begin evacuating people.

Few people realize the role the U.S. Coast Guard played in New York Harbor eight years ago on September 11, 2001 when they coordinated the evacuation of half a million people from lower Manhattan after the 9-11 attacks and collapse of the twin towers. Tugs, fast ferries, police launches, fireboats and other working watercraft converged on lower Manhattan as Coast Guard personnel and vessels directed the boat traffic through the smoke and successfully carried out the largest maritime evacuation in world History.

Although I have not had the opportunity to review the book myself, I am thrilled to see a book written about the oft ignored efforts of the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard. Have you read the book? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.


September 14, 2009 at 11:40 pm
(1) SRon J says:

The Coast Guard played a second role during on 9/11. After the collapse of the buildings, members of the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Strike Force, responsible for HAZMAT and maritime oil spill response, swept the area for hazardous materials as a result of the smoke, debris and such before secondary recovery efforts began

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