How Did the Coast Guard Help on September 11, 2001?

Although most people are aware of the emergency evacuation efforts undertaken by police officers and firefighters on 11 September 2001, the extent of the U.S. Coast Guard's assistance on that day is less well known. The Coast Guard contributed significantly by organizing the evacuation of more than half a million people from Lower Manhattan after the September 11th terror attacks.

When New York City's World Trade Center was attacked, hundreds of thousands of people became trapped in Lower Manhattan, south of the towers. Only those north of the World Trade Center were able to leave Manhattan on foot, across the Brooklyn Bridge. In this hour of desperation, the Coast Guard stepped in and undertook an evacuation operation by improvising with their resources. They utilized military, private, and commercial boats, ferries, tugs, and other vessels to evacuate civilians from the southern tip of Manhattan. Those evacuated were taken to New Jersey and Staten Island.

More about the U.S. Coast Guard:

  • The U.S. Coast Guard was established in 1790 as a maritime service to enforce federal trade and tariff laws.

  • The Coast Guard has played a pivotal role in emergency response and evacuation during many other disasters, including Hurricane Katrina.

  • Since 2003, the Coast Guard has operated under the US Department of Homeland Security. It only operates under the Navy during times of war.

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More Info: US Naval Institute News

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