Practice Makes Perfect

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If you’ve ever golfed, played a musical instrument, fly fished or done anything else that requires repetition to master, then you know all about the phrase, “Practice makes perfect.” The U.S. Coast Guard is one organization that unquestionably subscribes to that line of thinking, especially when it comes to running its 47-foot Motor Lifeboats in heavy surf.

Earlier this week, a boisterous low-pressure system off the West Coast delivered punishing onshore winds along a 1,200-mile stretch of beach from Canada down into California, which created 20- to 30-foot waves in some locations. The Coast Guard saw it as a perfect opportunity to run its crews through the wash cycle aboard a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat, and a local photographer captured the stunning action at San Francisco, California’s, Ocean Beach.

You can get a look at Dave Rogers’ photos of the boat smashing into the huge waves and rolling on its side here.

The 47-foot Motor Lifeboat went into Coast Guard service in 1997 and is designed to handle waves up to 20 feet and winds of up to 60 knots. It self-rights after capsize within 10 seconds. The Coast Guard uses the boat to rescue boaters, wind and wave surfers and paddleboarders who get caught in rough-water inlets or dangerous patches of coastline where wind and tide often conspire to make conditions untenable. Two-hundred twenty-seven of the boats are in active service today.