Teaching safety in the Bering Sea communities

My Son teaching the children
SAVOONGA, Alaska – Lt. Tom Pauser, with the 17th Coast Guard District’s prevention division, answers a student’s question at Hogarth Kingeekuk Sr. Memorial School April 10, 2012. Pauser was one of many Coast Guardsmen to visit rural Alaskan schools to give cold-water safety training in classrooms. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst.

The room has the look and feel of any other American classroom. The familiar laughter of children fills the air. Artwork and educational posters decorate the walls. Desks are lined across the classroom, most occupied with curious students.
The peculiar, blue-clad instructors at the head of the class have the undivided attention of both the students and their teacher. After all, it is not often Hogarth Kingeekuk Sr. Memorial School, on St. Lawrence Island, gets visitors.
The island, encased by the frozen Bering Sea during the winter months, is the location of two small villages - Savoonga and Gambell. The inherent danger of Alaska’s frigid waters, coupled with remote locations, makes water safety a huge concern for rural, coastal communities like these two.
Enter the Coast Guard. As a part of the larger Arctic Shield 2012 operations, the Coast Guard partnered with the state of Alaska’s Office of Boating Safety to administer the Kids Don’t Float program.
 In waters as frigid as the northern Bering Sea, a little flotation can mean the difference between life and death. Braarud and Pauser brought this information to the school in a kid-friendly way, with satisfying results.

  Siberian Yupi'k child, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska - April 13, 2012

  My Son took this photo of a child living in freezing conditions and his job, while there was to teach the children safety.  For generations the people of the island have gone out fishing with their elders, without flotation devices and many have lost their lives.
A film crew from the Weather Channels, Coast Guard Alaska show was there and they will have an episode on Toms trip to the Bearing Sea.

Wednesday nights on the Weather Channel
Yes, I'm one proud Mom.

For all of you who have not watched this past seasons shows,  check it out.  The stories of the Men and Women of the 
United States Coast Guard 
and the difficult jobs they have, is amazing.

"Bravo Zulu to you "T"  and all your shipmates"

1 comment:

Pondside said...

You have every right to be proud. What an important job your son is doing!