Coast Guard graduates 1,000th rescue swimmer
Published 10:26 am Saturday, January 18, 2020
- The AST Class 134-20 ceremony on December 20 aboard ATTC Elizabeth City at Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City graduated the Coast Guard’s 1,000th rescue swimmer. Courtesy Aviation Technical Training Center staff photographer Michael McCleary
The 1,000th Coast Guard rescue swimmer graduated during the AST Class 134-20 ceremony on December 20 aboard ATTC Elizabeth City at Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City.
Today’s AST rating, formerly known as the Aviation Survivalman Specialist rating, was officially created when the first class of five Coast Guardsmen graduated the program in 1985. It is one of the Coast Guard’s most physically demanding courses of instruction.
A wall at the Aviation Technical Training Center on Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City displays the name and number of every Coast Guard rescue swimmer. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy Seaman Ryan Fisher
ASTs are highly-conditioned rescue and survival experts, as well as highly capable aviation life support equipment technicians, and are trained to operate in a variety of maritime environments. While serving as rescue swimmers, ASTs are deployed into a myriad of challenging scenarios ranging from hurricanes and cliff rescues to emergency medical evacuations from ships at sea.
A prospective Coast Guard rescue swimmer prepares to swim laps with a 10-pound weight on Dec. 18 at the Aviation Technical Training Center on Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City. The swimmer demonstrated his ability to swim underwater while breathing through a snorkel and carrying extra weight. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy Seaman Ryan Fisher
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