Although the U.S. Coast Guard Academy was just down the road from where I went to college in New London, Connecticut, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know much about the Coast Guard back then.
Little did I realize at the time, that the cadets I’d see downtown or at the mall, were training to take on vital roles in protecting our nation’s coastlines and waterways.
From search and rescue to the apprehension of drug smugglers, disaster response and environmental protection, those men and women were learning the skills needed to embody the Coast Guard motto, Semper Paratus — always prepared.
Celebrate the Coast Guard Heroes of Alaska, Florida and the Pacific Northwest
Luckily, you don’t have to waste time getting to know and appreciate the Coast Guard the way I did.
That’s because you can now dive headfirst into The Weather Channel’s Coast Guard: Alaska, Coast Guard: Florida and Coast Guard: Cape Disappointment — Pacific Northwest for six seasons — and counting — of nail-biting heroics filmed at real-life Coast Guard bases in Kodiac, Alaska; Clearwater, Florida; and Cape Disappointment, Washington.
Related: The Finest Hours: Watch the Coast Guard Save the Day!
Coast Guard: Alaska
Coast Guard: Alaska is the first of the series. Every episode begins: “The vast Alaskan wilderness. A place where beauty is cloaked by danger. Here, every day, the highly trained men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard risk their lives to save others. America’s deadliest waters are protected by Coast Guard Alaska.”
The episodes that follow are just a sample of the episodes available for streaming on YouTube:
Season 1, Episode 1: Premiere
In this premiere episode we meet the team stationed in Kodiak, Alaska, one of the toughest postings in the entire Coast Guard. These men and women are charged with protecting thousands of miles of rugged wilderness coastline from both air and sea. They must be ready at a moment’s notice and be prepared to battle freezing conditions and storm-tossed seas to save hunters, fishermen and tourists from peril.
Watch the full premiere episode of Coast Guard: Alaska here:
Season 1, Episode 6: Shot in the Back!
It’s a race against time as the team braves the freezing Bering Sea to save some lost fisherman. Meanwhile, it’s a race against hypothermia to rescue two hunters who’ve been stranded overnight on desolate Raspberry Island. And back in Sitka, the clock is ticking as the team rushes to the aid of another hunter who has been shot in the back.
Watch the full episode of Shot in the Back! right here:
Season 2, Episode 1: Mayday Ship Sinking!
The Season 2 opener transports us to Air Station Kodiak, where the team scrambles to respond to a Mayday Mayday Mayday distress call from a ship rapidly sinking in the icy Alaskan waters. You’ll watch firsthand as the grueling 14-hour rescue pushes team members to their limits in what has already become legend as one of the toughest rescues ever attempted in Coast Guard history.
Watch the full episode of Mayday Ship Sinking! right here:
Season 2, Episode 6: Search Dog Helps the Coast Guard Find a Missing Girl!
It’s all hands (and paws) on deck as the search and rescue team — complete with K9 — fans out to find a missing teenager. The team must also medivac a fisherman who is suffering mysterious seizures and rush to save a truck driver who has somehow gotten himself pinned under his rig.
Watch the full episode of Search Dog Helps the Coast Guard Find a Missing Girl! here:
Season 3, Episode 10: Emergency Rescue!
Every ounce of Coast Guard helicopter pilot professionalism is tested when the team must fight through dense fog to rescue a man and airlift him to safety. Then, the Sitka team must locate a downed plane that has gone missing with seven passengers aboard.
Watch the full episode of Emergency Rescue! here:
Season 4, Episode 1: Premiere
The team is back for Season 4 and must attempt a daring helicopter maneuver to rescue the crew of a fishing boat that has smashed onto the rocks and been lost for a week. Then, it’s on to snow and extreme weather as they rescue a disoriented and dehydrated hiker who’s in such bad shape he’s only hours from death.
Watch the full Coast Guard: Alaska Season 4 premiere here:
Season 4, Episode 8: Broken Neck Rescue!
Miles from nowhere in the untamed backcountry of the Alaskan wilderness, a man lies dying of terrible wounds and a broken neck after a suffering a horrific ATV accident. His fate rests with the Coast Guard team who must get him to a trauma hospital ASAP.
Watch the full episode of Broken Neck Rescue! here:
Coast Guard: Florida
Coast Guard: Florida was the first of the spinoffs. Every episode of that begins: “The Florida Peninsula … a hotbed for Mother Nature’s fury. Here, every day, the brave men and women of the Coast Guard’s busiest boat and air station vigilantly patrol nearly two million square miles of turbulent water, protecting the public from the dangerous elements and preventing foreign threats and illegal drugs from reaching our shores. America’s southern waters are protected by Coast Guard Florida.”
Season 1, Episode 1: Premiere
The team of Coast Guard Florida faces vastly different challenges from the team stationed in the wilds of Alaska but the action in this spin-off is just as fast-paced. Now, the vibe is more Miami Vice than Deadliest Catch, though, because now we see the Coast Guard’s mandate to protect the U.S. against drug smugglers in action.
The weather is different, too — warmer but more unpredictable and just as unforgiving. In this premiere, we meet the Clearwater team as they do battle with Mother Nature to rescue a stranded fisherman.
Watch the full episode of the Coast Guard: Florida premiere here:
Coast Guard: Cape Disappointment — Pacific Northwest
Coast Guard: Cape Disappointment — Pacific Northwest is the newest addition to the franchise. Every episode begins: “High seas and tumultuous waters make Cape Disappointment in the Pacific Northwest one of the most hazardous environments in North America. At the heart of it all is the Columbia River Bar. This deadly area has taken countless vessels and claimed hundreds of lives in the air and on the sea. The brave men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard risk their own safety so that others may live … in a place known as the ‘graveyard of the Pacific’.”
Season 1, Episode 7: Cliff Rescue!
In this episode, the team from Air Station Astoria must execute a tricky long-range rescue of a burn victim from a container ship. Then, it’s on to rescue two hikers trapped between a cliff high above the Pacific Ocean and the deadly rocks below.
Watch the full episode of Cliff Rescue! here: