USCG Rescue Swimmer School

John Konrad
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June 17, 2008

USCG Rescue Swimmer School Badge

The brave men and women of the USCG who have earned the title of Rescue Swimmer are true heroes. When your life is on the line in dangerous seas these are the guys who are going to get your butt to safety. Here is a look at what they must endure to become graduates of the USCG Rescue Swimmer School otherwise known as A-School.

COAST GUARD STATION, Elizabeth City — They are a small group within the U.S. Coast Guard, only about 300 of them servicewide. To join their ranks, candidates must endure physical and mental challenges that rival those facing any potential Army Ranger, Navy SEAL or Air Force pararescueman.

The Coast Guard’s rescue swimmers are the brave young men and women who hoist or free-fall from a helicopter into dangerous seas to perform daring rescues.

The rescue swimmer training school here has one of the highest student attrition rates of any special operations school in the military. Roughly 75 students go through the school each year, and fewer than half make it out.

A quick look into the training required of the guys who are always ready to pluck one of us mariners out of a dangerous sea.


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