December 15, 2011, in Rochester, New York to inspect a pier on behalf of the Department of Justice with regard to a fatal boater’s crash on a dark night in 2008 on Lake Ontario.
It was surprisingly warm for this time of year, but the USCG Boatswain in charge of the 47 foot MLB and his crew performed a risk assessment and decided we should wear the mustang suits for the night time trip.
The suit was laid out for me next to the Christmas tree in the basement of the station. I put it on and we went out to observe the pier at night. It was cold and beautiful and quite comforting to be in the capable hands of the US Coast Guard.
And then I came back and saw the Christmas tree again. Christmas: family, friends and cold weather.
But not everybody will be with friends and family during Christmas and many in our business will be alone in the cold weather at sea or along the shores dealing with those things that do not go away during Christmas.
We often get a call on Christmas day when somebody’s attention during a cold watch has been diverted by thoughts of family and friends far away. Let’s be extra careful over the holidays, and while it can be lonely out there don’t be distracted; your friends and family want you to be safe.
Merry Christmas, especially to those who are standing a lonely watch.