Aids to Navigation work continuesApr 1, 2020
The USCG buoy tender Marcus Hanna at work.
While many people are home, sheltering in place, the crew of the 175-foot USCG buoy tender Marcus Hanna, and Coast Guard crews throughout the U.S., are doing the unheralded work of maintaining aids to navigation. The picture shows Marcus Hanna working on a buoy for the ship channel into Portland, Maine. The Coast Guard puts Marcus Hanna's role this way: "Homeported in South Portland, Maine, USCGC Marcus Hanna’s area of responsibility spans from Boston, Massachusetts to St. John’s Bay, Maine. USCGC Marcus Hanna is responsible for a total of 376 aids to navigation. In addition to her primary mission of aids to navigation, USCGC Marcus Hanna also conducts search and rescue, domestic icebreaking, and ports, waterways, and coastal security."
The cutter is named after lighthouse keeper Marcus Hanna, born Bristol, Maine, in 1842 and who served in both the USN and the U.S. Army during the Civil War. He won the Medal of Honor for gallantry during an 1863 battle at Port Hudson, La. After the war he joined the Lighthouse Service — his father had been a lighthouse keeper. On Jan. 28, 1885, while the keeper at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth, Hanna saved sailors from a shipwrecked schooner during a blizzard and was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal. Hanna is the only person in history to have won both a Medal of Honor and the Gold Lifesaving Medal.