There are things we take for granted in life. One of them is the United States Coast Guard. We take them for granted because most of us will never require their assistance – and when they do help, it is almost always flawlessly.

The Coast Guard does a lot of things, many of them quite dangerous. The Coast Guard patrols our coastlines and helps with the war on drugs, just to name a few. Here in the nation's premier fishing port, we often think of the Coast Guard as a search and rescue operation, and they are that too.

We depend upon the Coast Guard to search for fishermen who have become lost at sea or to aid a fishing vessel in distress. The response is always immediate. Even in weather conditions not fit for the task, the Coast Guard takes to the air and sea to do what it can to help.

Last Friday night, the New Bedford-based fishing vessel Nobska caught fire 85 miles east of Cape Cod. Where do you go when your vessel is on fire, and you are surrounded by nothing but icy cold ocean waters? Not far. You radio the Coast Guard and hope they make it to your location in time. They did.

All five members of the Nobska's crew were rescued by the Coast Guard and airlifted to safety. The Coast Gaurd delivered the men uninjured to Joint Base Cape Cod and reunited them with loved ones. Because of the almost routine nature of such rescues, there was very little media coverage of it. Not all distress calls end as happily as this one dd.

The U.S. Coast Guard is a heroic and perhaps underrated branch of our American services. The crew of the Nobska is mighty proud of the Coast Guard, and so should we all be.

Another job well done.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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