Carolyn, 76

(1/2) “I joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary seven years ago here in Maryland. The reason why I joined was twofold: First, I would learn more about boating and the second was to pay back the Coast Guard for rescuing my kids and I at sea one time when we were on a boat. It had to be 40 or 50 years ago. We were bringing the boat down from Maine to Boston and a hurricane came out of nowhere. So I’m trying to get into shore with the boat; it was my boyfriend, his kids, my kids, and me. We were trying to bring it in and the kids were down below and I’m tying to keep them calm. My son comes out of the cabin and he says, ‘Mom, I know something must be wrong’—he was six or seven years old–and he says, ‘you are white as a sheet.’ I said, ‘nothing’s wrong, close the door.’ The waves were going over the top of the boat. Do you know I’m petrified of the water? We had to call the Coast Guard to come out and get us, because every time we would get into the port, we would get in about 20 feet and the waves would push us back 40 feet, and it was a 25-foot cabin cruiser. Anyway, I said someday I’m going to pay them back.”

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