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Body slams from the Coast Guard?

Jan 1, 2003

Mariners who are boarded by the Coast Guard in coming months should not be surprised if the routine check for life jackets and other safety equipment is accompanied by a body slam, a face-rake, or a flying leap from the vessel's lifelines (called the "Superfly"). Here's why: In an attempt to recruit new members, the Coast Guard in February teamed up with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in television ads and promotions of the Coast Guard by celebrity wrestlers. The reason for the match, according to a report published in the Coast Guard's journal in June, is that viewers of wrestling programs are 18 to 24-year-olds who are attracted to make-believe violence depicted in the programs. This is the same population the Coast Guard hopes to attract into its ranks, the report stated. The strategy is apparently successful, since during a two-and-a-half month period this Spring, the Coast Guard received more than 3,500 calls in response to the ads on WWF programs.