Coast Guardsmen in the Pacific Northwest will get some television time in a new reality TV series. Here, Coasties train at the National Motor Lifeboat School in Ilwaco, Wash. (Coast Guard)
New Episodes of the Florida and Alaska shows are coming soon:
July 10: New episodes of ‘Coast Guard Alaska’ start airing.
Sept. 25: New episodes of ‘Coast Guard Florida’ start airing.
The Weather Channel is expanding its “Coast Guard” franchise with a new show based in the Pacific Northwest. “Coast Guard Cape Disappointment,” the working title for the show, is the third in the series and will focus on the men and women of Coast Guard District 13, said Maureen Marshall, director of corporate communications for the Weather Co., the channel’s parent company.
Located at the mouth of the Columbia River, an area known as “The Graveyard of the Pacific,” Station Cape Disappointment is the Coast Guard’s largest search-and-rescue station on the Northwest coast and responds to 300 to 400 rescue calls a year, according to the service.
“They want to highlight the way that the Coast Guard carries out their missions out here,” said Lt. Regina Caffrey, 13th District public affairs officer.
The district has units based in Washington state and Oregon, and also covers Idaho and Montana, Caffrey said. Missions include search and rescue, security and fishery law enforcement. The region sees heavy weather conditions, especially in the winter, when winds and waves can reach up to hurricane levels, Caffrey said.
“The Pacific Northwest offers a totally different look and feel from ‘Coast Guard Alaska’ and ‘Coast Guard Florida,’ including different terrain, different weather conditions and different types of rescue missions,” Marshall said in an email. Alaska has a lot of icy search-and-rescue missions, and Florida has more immigration and drug interdictions. However, the Pacific Northwest is a mountainous area that includes the Columbia River and encompasses the Olympic Mountains, the Cascades and the Coast Range. The geography often presents unique emergencies, including rescue swimmers having to hoist people not from the water, but from cliffs and mountains.
“The Pacific Northwest seems like a serene, bucolic place, but the Coast Guard will tell you some of the most dangerous rescue missions take place there,” said David Clark, president of the Weather Channel. “It’s been dubbed as one of the most dangerous crossings in the world, where winds, shifting sandbars, and geography make the waves unpredictable, and this is certainly one of the trickiest places in the U.S. to search for mariners needing help.”
The “Coast Guard” franchise has definitely been a success for the network, Marshall said. “Coast Guard Alaska” and “Coast Guard Florida” episodes have drawn above-average numbers of prime-time viewers for the network since their premieres in 2011 and 2012, respectively, she said, and continue to be hit shows on the network.
“Coast Guard Cape Disappointment” is scheduled to premiere in 2014.