Search and rescue, Hollywood style - Soundings Online

Search and rescue, Hollywood style

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The dangerous world of Coast Guard rescue swimmers was brought to life on the big screen this fall in Touchstone Pictures’ “The Guardian,” released in September and starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher.

The dangerous world of Coast Guard rescue swimmers was brought to life on the big screen this fall in Touchstone Pictures’ “The Guardian,” released in September and starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher.

Read the other story in this package: This man just might save your life 

After losing his crew in a storm, veteran rescue swimmer Ben Randall (Costner) is sent to teach at an elite school for Coast Guard rescue swimmers, where he meets young swim champ Jake Fischer (Kutcher). After graduation the two travel to Kodiak, Alaska, where they perform daring rescues in the Bering Sea.

Producers worked closely with Coast Guard officials to ensure the film was true to life. “What’s unique about this story is that it takes you into a world that nobody has ever really seen before … jumping into 20-foot waves in freezing temperatures and saving lives,” director Andrew Davis says on the film’s Web site (www.theguardian.movies.go.com). “So this is a unique opportunity to experience something amazing like that.”

Also out this year is “So Others May Live — Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers: Saving Lives, Defying Death” (The Lyons Press, 2006), a book by Martha J. LaGuardia-Kotite. It tells the stories of 12 dramatic rescues made since the program started around 1985.