Coast Guard station earns award |

Coast Guard station earns award

Joanna Hartman

On any given day around the country, the U.S. Coast Guard will save 15 lives, assist 117 distressed people and conduct 90 search-and-rescue cases.

And while Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe, located in Lake Forest, isn’t on a coast, it is unique in that it’s one of few inland units in the country. Still, the Tahoe station conducts 200 to 300 search-and-rescue cases each year, according to Engineering Petty Officer Adam Barton.

Working on a lake rather than the ocean makes for a unique Coast Guard experience, and lends way for extensive experience with boating safety, law enforcement, and search and rescue, Barton said.

Due to location and experience, Lake Tahoe is generally considered one of the most desirable placements, he said.

“Everyone would love to be here on Lake Tahoe,” Barton said.

And the station has been recognized as one of the best in the country. Coast Guard Admiral Jody Breckenridge presented Station Lake Tahoe with the service’s Sumner I. Kimball Readiness Award on Monday morning.

“The Kimball is a huge award,” said Executive Petty Officer Joshua Martin. “[They] test our knowledge, equipment … everything having to do with saving lives and enforcing laws on Lake Tahoe.”

In order to be eligible for the Kimball Award, said Ray Holcombe, officer in charge of Station Lake Tahoe, a station must score high on criteria ranging from vessel inspections to individual written exams to performance tests. Station Lake Tahoe received a near-perfect score of 49 out of 50 possible points.

The inspections are to ensure that each Coast Guard station is ready at all times, said Admiral Breckenridge. Station Lake Tahoe may be a small boat community, but must still meet all Coast Guard standards.

The Tahoe station is now being recognized for not only meeting, but exceeding, the standards. The station will now be able to raise the Sumner I. Kimball Pennant flag representing the award.

“Attribute this to the crew’s hard work, training, and practicing,” said Martin.

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