An interesting news release from CCGD1 below. While looking for an appropriate photo, I found an earlier article, “Hunting for Bear, the Search for the Coast Guard’s Most Iconic Vessel,” by MARK A. SNELL, PH.D., U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, beginning on page 56 of the Spring 2019 issue of Proceedings of the Marine Safety and Security Council. This is the way it ends.
A few years ago, an aspiring author posted an ode about the loss of the Bear on a website known as “Ghost Stories for Lovers.” Her thoughts on the final moments of the iconic ship are an apt denouement both for the sinking of the Bear and the conclusion of this article:
“I imagine her exhaustion. I imagine the familiar rush of waves lapping against her parched skin, reawakening every memory of every youthful adventure with such
a flood of overwhelming intensity that the strength of the wind and the salt and the biting northern air that she once drank now aches. Her arthritic timbers swell and throb as they move through the rough ocean. The towline grows taut, too taut, as she struggles to keep pace with the smaller boat. Did she welcome the final gale that snapped it, I wonder, that final push of force that plunged her mast deep into her hull, into her heart, releasing nearly a century’s worth of man’s insatiable hope from her shattered bones and back into the sea from which he crawled?
“She didn’t take anyone down with her. The two sailors who were with her when it happened shivered and gaped from the rails of the tugboat that rescued them as she slipped further into the black water. Slowly. Silently. As if she were never there…”
Media Availability: Coast Guard, NOAA to hold event to announce the discovery of U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear and arrival of U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker in Boston
Editors’ Note: Media interested in attending are requested to RSVP at 617-223-8515 or D1PublicAffairs@USCG.mil by 9:30 a.m., Oct. 13, 2021 and should arrive no later than 2:45 p.m. and must follow proper CDC guidelines for COVID-19.
BOSTON—The Coast Guard is scheduled to hold an event to discuss the discovery of the wreckage of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear and the arrival of the USCGC Healy (WAGB 20) following its recent transit of the Arctic’s Northwest Passage.
WHO: Vice Adm. Steven Poulin, Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander, Capt. Kenneth Boda, USCGC Healy commanding officer, Coast Guard historians and representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
WHAT: The Coast Guard is announcing the findings of the wreckage of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear, a vessel of historical significance to the Arctic, and discussing the arrival of the USCGC Healy, one of the Service’s polar icebreakers.
WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, at 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Boston Cruise Ship Terminal, 1 Black Falcon Ave. Boston, MA 02210
The USRC Bear was built in Scotland in 1874 as a steamer ship and purchased by the U.S. government in 1884 for service in the U.S. Navy as part of the rescue fleet for the Greely Expedition to the Arctic, which gave world-wide acclaim as the vessel that rescued the few survivors of that disastrous expedition. In 1885, the Bear was transferred from the Treasury Department for service in the Arctic as a Revenue Cutter and for 41 years it patrolled the Arctic performing search and rescue, law enforcement operations, conducting censuses of people and ships, recording geological and astronomical information, recording tides and escort whaling ships. Between 1886-1895, the captain of Bear was “Hell Roaring Mike” Healy. The USCGC Healy was commissioned in 1999 and named in his honor. During World War II, the Bear served during the Greenland Patrols and participated in the capture of a German spy vessel, the trawler Buskoe. It was decommissioned in 1944 and was lost at sea while being towed in 1963.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy crew, following in the Bear’s tradition of Arctic service, recently completed a transit of the Arctic Northwest Passage. Healy is one of the Coast Guard’s polar-capable icebreakers and operates as a multi-mission vessel to protect American interests in the Arctic region.
For nearly two decades, NOAA Ocean Exploration, the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ Maritime Heritage Program, the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development center, and a number of academic research partners have been engaged in a search for the final resting place of U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear.
For more information, please visit NOAA’s Ocean Exploration website.