The Coast Guard community is mourning the loss of Petty Officer Travis Obendorf from the Coast Guard Cutter WAESCHE, homeported in Alameda, California. Petty Officer Obendorf died in a Seattle hospital on Wednesday, December 18 as a result of injuries he sustained during search and rescue operations near Amak Island, Alaska on November 11.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Petty Officer Obendorf's family and his shipmates aboard Coast Guard Cutter Waesche during this difficult time," said Vice Adm. Paul Zukunft, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area.
Photo courtesy Coast Guard Cutter Waesche.
From the Coast Guard's official release:
At the time of his injury, Waesche personnel were conducting small boat operations to assist the disabled fishing vessel Alaska Mist with 22 mariners aboard. During the first transfer of passengers, Obendorf was injured while recovering the small boat. A Coast Guard helicopter crew transported him to Cold Bay for a commercial medevac to Anchorage and further medical care. Obendorf's family arrived in Anchorage shortly thereafter. He was then transferred to Swedish Hospital Dec. 6 for continued medical care.
"Petty Officer Obendorf's sacrifice reminds us once again the dangers the brave men and women of the United States Coast Guard face every day to keep Americans safe," said Coast Guard Foundation President Anne B. Brengle. "We join the Coast Guard community in mourning the loss of Petty Officer Obendorf, and stand ready to assist in anyway we can."
The Coast Guard Foundation is working with senior Coast Guard Leadership to determine the needs of the family and the crew of the WAESCHE. For now, please keep the family of Petty Officer Obendorf and the crew of the WAESCHE in your thoughts and prayers