Daylin called the Coast Guard at 12:03 am on Monday morning. Her father Fabian Rodriguez, brother and two of their friends set out on a fishing trip the previous morning. When they did not return that night, panic set in. Daylin was right to contact the Coast Guard. Rodriguez’s boat capsized near Marco Island, Florida. For almost 24 hours, the party of four remained in icy cold waters until they were fortunately spotted by rescuers.
Members of the Coast Guard represent the Department of Homeland Security in the country’s marine environments and are active duty members or reservists for the Armed Forces. Their duties include capturing illegal drug traffickers, responding to emergencies including oil spills and saving lives.
It was reported yesterday, that the Coast Guard’s rescue missions have become even more successful in the Great Lakes region due to research conducted by Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana). The university’s VACCINE center (Visual Analytics for Command, Control and Interoperability Environments) analyzed historical data pertaining to boating and swimming deaths in the Great Lakes from 2010 and previous years. From 2009 to 2010 the number of fatalities had increased by 82%.
The center’s results provided valuable information to the Coast Guard leading to a 37% decrease in deaths this past summer compared to the previous year (from 164 down to 104 casualties). Professor David Ebert, Director of VACCINE, stated, “We looked for time-of-day, day-of-week and monthly patterns…We also looked at the geographic distribution of deaths and created hotspot maps for each type of death for each of the summer months for 2010 compared to previous years.” [Source: Purdue University’s Newsroom] This meant that the Coast Guard could intensify their efforts at probable high-risk locations and times.
The Coast Guard honored VACCINE with the Atlantic Area Command Award for Excellence and plans on continuing to collaborate with the Purdue center and other research institutes to prevent the loss of life in water related deaths.
To be eligible for Coast Guard training and employment, you must at least have a high school diploma or GED and usually are required to be between 17 and 27 years old. The Armed Forces branch offers its own specialized training to eligible applicants. Working for the Coast Guard is an ideal springboard to advance to a career with the Department of Homeland Security. Complimented with a Homeland Security Degree, you can pursue a profession in counterterrorism, intelligence, national response, border patrol and other areas.