Special Feature: Sea Trial by Donald E. Bodron
Who will rescue beleaguered sailors on a vessel being battered by stormy waters? Who intercepts shipments of illegal substances, like deadly drugs, before they reach American shores? The United States Coast Guard is there to handle these emergencies. And while the service isn’t featured in as many blockbuster films as the nation’s other armed branches, it does its part in securing the land and saving those in danger. Now, Captain Donald E. Bodron will show readers more of the Coast Guard’s thrilling exploits with “Sea Trial,” a collection of rousing stories that are long overdue.
Most people are at least aware of the Coast Guard’s search and rescue, and drug smuggling interdiction roles. But as Bodron says, those outside of the maritime or fishing industry most likely won’t know about their role in port safety, or how they protect marine environments and keep commercial and fishing vessels safe. They keep American ports and waterways secure, preserve the environment and prevent accidents on U.S. vessels around the world.
“Sea Trial” shows this with stories that give an in-depth and personal view of what it’s like for Coast Guard men and women shouldering these responsibilities and serving on the deck of the service’s vessels. While working in harbors or at the waterfront is the normal routine, these can turn into accident investigations or responding to fires, collisions and other accidents. At those times, the personnel will have their skills tested, and they may even have to put their lives on the line.
Readers better have their sea legs ready because Bodron’s prose puts them right there with the crews during their voyages, safety inspections, emergency responses, oil spills, repairs and more. The life aquatic ain’t easy, and in performing these roles, the Coast Guard are a select group of dedicated individuals, members of a distinguished institution entrusted with heavy responsibilities. While none seek publicity, Bodron aims to give them their due, the recognition they rightfully deserve.
“No other book that I am aware of attempts to illustrate these topics,” explains Bodron, himself a licensed merchant marine engineer who has served for more than a quarter of a century in the Coast Guard. Now he tells the stories of the brave men and women of the service. “The Coast Guard was ordered to take up these responsibilities for marine safety during World War II. The service has been performing these duties for more than seventy-five years. This is a story that needed to be told.”
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A graduate of the New York Maritime College, Captain Bodron served almost twenty-eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard both at sea and in the Marine Safety Program. His months at sea included engineering duties on a weather ship in the Pacific and on a search and rescue cutter in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Marine Safety assignments ranged from Puerto Rico to Alaska and other major ports in the Continental United States.
He capped off his career detailed to the Panama Canal Commission as marine safety adviser to the Marine Department. During those years, he was involved with a complete range of inspection issues, marine casualties, groundings, and oil spill responses including the Exxon Valdez. The book was written to highlight the work of the Coast Guard Marine Safety professionals who work tirelessly to protect the marine environment and to keep the U.S. and foreign merchant ships and our ports and waterways safe.