From oil-saturated Gulf of Mexico waters to the ice-covered Hudson River, the U.S. Coast Guard saved more than 4,300 lives last year. Here are the 11 best videos of daring rescues, choppy sea-crossings, and one truly frightening battery replacement.
The Coast Guard will let you vote to name the best video of the year, which you can do right here. Here's the list of what you're watching:
• The rescue of an 11-year-old boy and his father who were caught in the surf near Pacific City, Ore., March 26 by a Coast Guard Air Station North Bend HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew.
• The hoist of 17-year-old boy from a 200-foot cliff by an aircrew from Air Station Astoria, Ore., at Lewis and Clark State Park in Washington State, July 25.
• The rescue of a man clinging to a piling after wading too far from shore near Rollover Pass, Texas, by an aircrew from Air Station Houston, Texas, July 12.
• The rescue of an injured 64-year-old woman and her 49-year-old friend from their disabled 65-foot sailboat 200 miles west of St. Petersburg, Fla., Sept. 1, by an aircrew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., that included a rescue swimmer on his first rescue.
• The rescue of two men from an overturned 26-foot boat approximately 30 miles west of Egmont Key, Fla., by an aircrew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., Aug. 28.
• The relief efforts of members from Port Security Unit 307, St. Petersburg, Fla., and other Coast Guardsmen as they provide medical attention and materials to a Haitian orphanage and work to restore infrastructure, Feb. 3, in the wake of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated the island nation.
• The mid-air, helicopter delivery of crewmembers from Aids to Navigation Team San Diego by an Air Station San Diego aircrew to repair the broken Zuniga Jetty light at the entrance of San Diego Bay, Feb. 4, during bad weather.
• A wild ride by crewmembers aboard a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Bodega Bay, Calif., during training in heavy surf, July 13.
• Ice breaking operations by the Cutter Morro Bay on the Hudson River in New York, Jan. 13, to ensure the delivery of critical heating oil.
• Oil skimming operations off the coasts of Florida and Alabama during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill by the Cutters Juniper, Oak and Cypress, June 12.
• The construction of the only permanent aid to navigation tower north of the Arctic Circle by crewmembers of Aids to Navigation Team Kodiak four miles south of Point Hope, Alaska, Aug. 2.
Photo Credit: C. R. "Bob" Bryant, Gig Harbor, Wash. - Oil on canvas