Author Toni Rico

One of four female rescue swimmers in the Coast Guard is jumping into another challenge: becoming the next American Ninja Warrior. Truthfully, said Aviation Survival Technician 2nd Class Jaime Vanacore, she is just going to have fun at the game show’s Baltimore tryouts, which are scheduled for Friday and Saturday. “It was a spur of the moment thing,” she said. The rescue swimmer said she was not familiar with ANW, but when her sister told her she should try out for the show’s fifth season, she started looking at YouTube videos and thought it looked like fun. “I was shocked,”…

A Navy cook showcased his skills outside of the kitchen during a laughter competition held April 6 in San Diego. Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Daunte Reed won the category for Best Maniacal Laugh at the first American Laughing Championships. He comes in at the 30-second mark of the video below with a headphone-bending cackle that makes him lose his balance. Reed, who is stationed at Naval Base San Diego, said his laughter has always drawn stares. “I’m known for having a distinct laugh, so to speak,” Reed said. “I’ve had this laugh all my life.” In Afghanistan, Reed honed…

If you are a junior enlisted Coastie, you might have wondered if you missed the memo April 3 when you went in to work. Your chief was looking sharp in his or her service dress blues, and you were wearing your ODUs. But the chiefs wore their SDBs on Wednesday to bring attention to a serious issue: sexual assault in the Coast Guard, said Command Master Chief R. Shane Hooker, command master chief for the deputy commandant of mission support at Coast Guard Headquarters. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The service had 156 reported cases of sexual assault in…

If you are a die-hard Coastie fan, a family member of one, or a Coastie yourself, then you might have noticed this incredibly romantic photo floating around Twitter last week. The Coastie with the wide smile is Fireman Stefanie Garrett returning from a 75-day patrol aboard the Coast Guard high endurance cutter Midgett. The sign she’s holding? It’s a reply to a dock-side banner proposal. Her boyfriend, and now fiancé, Chip Switzer waited for hours by Pier 36 for a glimpse of Garrett as the Midgett returned to its Seattle home March 21. It took some heavy coordination between Switzer…

Carnival Cruise Lines announced Tuesday that it’s cancelling 10 cruises aboard the Carnival Triumph while the company carries out a  “fleetwide comprehensive operational review.” The cruise line posted on its Facebook page that all guests booked for the cancelled cruises would receive a full refund. But Sen. John D.  “Jay” Rockefeller IV, D-W. Va., wants to know if the cruise line is also planning on issuing a refund to the Coast Guard and the Navy. Just last month, the Coast Guard escorted the Carnival Triumph to Mobile, Ala. The vessel had to be towed after an engine-room fire left it…

[HTML1] It’s not often that we get to experience a close-up view of a Coast Guard rescue, but a video released by the Coast Guard gives us exactly that, showing a North Carolina man being plucked from the sea March 6 off Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Rescued was Patrick Small, of North Carolina. Two other men, Walter and Steve Tate, also of North Carolina, remain missing. The Coast Guard called off the search for them the next day. The men were aboard the fishing vessel Seafarer when it became disabled, the Coast Guard reported in a news release. The Seafarer’s sister…

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