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9 Disasters

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USCG PHOTO

ALVA CAPE
JULY 3, 1966

A direct hit! An explosion wracks the naphtha-laden Vritish tanker M.V. ALVA CAPE after being hit by the 17th shell fired at her by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter SPENCER. The 546-foot British tanker was sunk 110 miles southeast of New York Harbor, July 3, 1966, after being labeled "a menace to navigation". A collision and subsequent explosions caused the deaths of 37 men. (USCG)
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USCG PHOTO

ALVA CAPE
JULY 3, 1966

Fire and smoke billow high into the air as the British tanker M.V. ALVA CAPE goes into her final death throes. The ship sank after being shelled by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter SPENCER on July 3, 1966, 110 miles southeast of New York Harbor. The British tanker claimed the lives of 37 men during the month of June in two separate disasters, 12 days apart, in New York Harbor. (USCG)
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USCG PHOTO

ALVA CAPE
JULY 3, 1966

More than three hours after being hit by the first shell from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter SPENCER on July 3, 1966, the M.V. ALVA CAPE folds into a reluctant "V" as she sinks in more than a mile of water 110 miles southeast of New York Harbor. The 546-foot British tanker was in a collision in New York Harbor on June 16, 1966, which claimed the lives of 33 men. Twelve days later four more men were killed when the ship blew up while the volatile naphtha was being unloaded from her tanks. (USCG)
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USCG PHOTO

ALVA CAPE
JULY 3, 1966

A boiling patch of ocean and heavy, black smoke mark the grave of the obstinate, deadly M.V. ALVA CAPE. The ill-fated 546-foot British tanker was destroyed 110 miles southeast of New ork Harb or by 37 five-inch shells from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter SPENCER on July 3, 1966. But this was not before she claimed the lives of 37 men in New York Harbor during the month of June (1966) after colliding with the American tanker S.S. TEXACO MASSACHUSETTS and subsequent explosions - twelve days apart. Federal and local officials labeled this one of the worst marine disasters in the history of the Port of New York. (USCG)
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BMC Steve Prime USCG (ret) photo

Unidentified M/V in Buzzards Bay c 1967/9. CGC Hornbeam is alongside.
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NOTICE
29th USCGC Cuyahoga Memorial Commemoration. On Saturday, October 20th, TRACEN Yorktown will hold memorial services to honor the 10 Coast Guardsmen and one Indonesian Naval Officer who lost their lives aboard USCGC CUYAHOGA (WIX-157) October 20, 1978. The ceremony will begin with a no host breakfast at the Coast Guard Dining Facility from 0700-0745, followed by the observance of morning colors on the Parade field and a memorial service at the Olde Yorke Chapel. For additional information, contact BMC Ed Delosreyes at (757)-856-3500 ext 3630 or via E-mail at Edwin.J.Delosreyes@uscg.mil.

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USCGC CUYAHOGA USCG Photo

USCGC CUYAHOGA
April 7, 1974

The CUYAHOGA assumed duties at the Coast Guard Training Center in Yorktown VA in 1959. She was used as a training vessel for Officer Canidates as she was while assigned to the Coast Guard Academy in New London CT.

About 2100 on the evening of October 20, 1978 while operating in the Chesapeake Bay (VA) she was struck on the Starboard side by the 521 foot Argentine Bulk Carrier SS SANTA CRUZ II. The CUYAHOGO sank within minutes with the loss of 11 of her crew/officer canidates including one Indonesian Navy Trainee. 18 were safely recovered by the SANTA CRUZ II. At the time of her loss she was the last of her class still in commission.

The Marine Casualty Report, number USCG 16732 / 92368 and dated 31 July 1979, concluded:

The Commandant has determined that the proximate cause of the casualty was that the commanding officer of the USCGC CUYAHOGA failed to properly identify the navigation lights displayed by the M/V SANTA CRUZ II. As a result he did not comprehend that the vessels were in a meeting situation, and altered the CUYAHOGA's course to port taking his vessel into the path of the SANTA CRUZ II.
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The below photos were taken by Bobby Padgett RMCM, USCG (ret) while he was assigned to Coast Guard Group Hampton Roads VA. The CUYAHOGA was raised and barged there for further investigation. She was later sunk offshore as part of an artificial reef.

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Bobby Padgett RMCM USCG (RET) Photo

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Bobby Padgett RMCM USCG (RET) Photo

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Bobby Padgett RMCM USCG (RET) Photo

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USCG PHOTO

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USCG PHOTO

IRENE CHALLENGE
JANUARY 2, 1977

(No further information available)

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