Unsung heroes of a tsunami response

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In the early morning hours of March 11, the residents of Crescent City, Calif., woke to a tsunami warning in the wake of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake that devastated Japan, which is nearly 4,500 miles away from this sleepy little town in Northern California.

Bill Barlow, vice Commander of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 8-11, had a 27-foot sailboat moored inside the inner boat basin of Crescent City Harbor. He woke early Friday morning and placed extra mooring lines on his personal sailing vessel and hoped for a good outcome for his sailboat. Why would he not do more to save his boat?

Well, there is a simple answer — haul it out — but there was no more time because he spent most of the night securing the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s search-and-rescue boat by removing it from the water and placing it on a trailer and parking it on Whaler’s Island.

After the tsunami ripple poured into the harbor and caused considerable damage, the local auxiliarists spent more than 200 hours responding to tsunami-related incidents.

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