Home / Behind the scenes with the US Coast Guard Fort Myers Beach station

Behind the scenes with the US Coast Guard Fort Myers Beach station

Reporter: Rich Kolko
Published: Updated:

With hundreds of miles of coastline in Southwest Florida and water as far as the eye can see, the U.S. Coast Guard is standing watch to keep you safe.

Getting underway in a hurry can save lives, and the Fort Myers Beach station can do just that in as little as three minutes.

That’s why U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Ronald Shawver works so hard to train his crew, “Our mission is primarily search-and-rescue.”

The Fort Myers Beach station has already done more than 90 search-and-rescues this year.

Including one in April where they pulled three fishermen out of the water after their boat sank off the Naples coast.

As a branch of the U.S. military, the Coast Guard doesn’t fall under the department of defense, rather Homeland Security, which gives them the ability to make arrests.

And just like their counterparts stationed along the entire U.S. coast, on waterways, and in ports, the crew in Fort Myers Beach keep their skills sharp, so they can protect our country in a moment’s notice.

WINK News Safety and Security Specialist, Richard Kolko gives a tour of a Coast Guard boat.

Regarding escorting VIP’s, Shawver said, “We have security details out here on the water for different people.”

A recent mission included securing the waters off Sanibel for Vice-President Pence’s latest visit.

And with high-tech tools like this 45-foot RBM or, response boat medium, the coast guardsmen are nearly impossible to sink.

“The cabin is watertight,” Shawver said. “So if we do take a wake and we roll over, the boat will actually right itself because of the air pocket in this cabin.

A comfort to all those in need.

Being alert is important and he reminds, “Accidents happen very quick out on the water,” which is why they’re always ready.