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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

'A three-hour tour'

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Coast Guard Boatswain Mate Second Class Kraig McClellan (center) and fellow shipmates stand in front of the Friendship, a 171-foot three-master. Courtesy Photo.
* Local graduate served as tour guide during guard homecoming

A former resident of Brazil recently played a notable role in a major celebration for the United States Coast Guard.

Boatswain Mate Second Class Kraig McClellan, a 2004 Northview High School graduate, recently served as a tour guide for the 2009 Yankee Homecoming Coast Guard Day, conducted in Newburyport, Ma., from July 26-Aug. 2. McClellan was one of 26 Guard members to serve in the role of tour guide.

The Yankee Homecoming celebration serves to commemorate the history of the Coast Guard, dating back to the organization's founding in 1790, when it was known as the Revenue Cutter Service.

McClellan said the celebration was a good way to educate the public about the expansive role the Coast Guard plays in America today.

"It's good to see the community embrace the history of the Guard so much," McClellan said. "It's really cool for everyone involved."

McClellan called the Coast Guard the "primary homeland security force" of all military units today. In a post-9/11 society, when many military service men and women are fighting abroad, he said the Guard is more needed than ever to attend to matters within this country.

He said he was most excited to see a large quantity of children at the event, as it could potentially make them excited about joining the Coast Guard in the future.

McClellan is the son of Michael McClellan, Brazil, and Lisa Fane, who currently resides in Avon Lake, Ohio. He is currently stationed in Newburyport, and lives with wife Brittany, also formerly of Brazil, and 16-month-old son Owen.

He said he was drawn to the Coast Guard at a young age when he and his family would visit relatives in Georgia near a Coast Guard port.

After graduating from Northview, McClellan paid a visit to a recruitment office in Indianapolis, and quickly enlisted.

Currently in his fifth year of service, McClellan is working at a Surf Station on the Merrimack River.

One of 21 such stations in the country, McClellan referred to himself and his comrades as "the fire department on the water," as they respond to distress calls of people trapped in the water.

They do so in a 47-foot boat called a Coxswain, a vessel capable of turning itself right-side-up after being turned over.

McClellan's current duties involved rescue missions in seas of 8-feet high waves, in 30 mph winds, 50 miles off the shore.

Boatswain's require up to six years of training, before they are elevated to the title of Surfsmen, where they receive clearance to handle any hazardous conditions the sea may create to rescue stranded parties. At this time, McClellan has two years of such training under his belt.

The former Brazilian said he hopes to reach the level of Surfsmen. He took a big step in eventually accomplishing his goal having recently signed on for six more years of service.

McClellan said he envisions having a lengthy future in the Coast Guard and is hopeful the service will continue to offer a fulfilling life for he and his family.

"I couldn't ask for a better life," he said. "I love every minute of it."

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You are to be commended Kraig. Keep up the fine work you are doing as it is obvious you love it. God bless you and your family!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Wed, Aug 26, 2009, at 9:41 AM

why have Gilligan's island reference on this story? i liked the show, but seems to belittle the dedication.

-- Posted by bee on Wed, Aug 26, 2009, at 9:58 AM

FYI, the tall ship in the background is not a 47ft self-righting Coxswain. It's the Friendship, a 171ft three-master.

-- Posted by Capt Brent on Wed, Aug 26, 2009, at 11:19 AM

Kraig is a good son and I'm very proud of him. He is doing something he loves and is very dedicated in his work.As stated above by Capt Brent, the ship in the background is not his CG boat.

It is a ship that travels up and down the coast and serves as a 'floating museum'. Stay safe Kraig,hope to see you soon.

-- Posted by kraigs dad on Wed, Aug 26, 2009, at 3:36 PM

This is Kraig's sister and we are so proud of him! So glad you were recognized!!! Keep up the good work and see you soon! We love you!

-- Posted by katielunsford on Wed, Aug 26, 2009, at 3:52 PM

Everyone is very proud of you, Kraig!! Stay safe and keep it upright!!

-- Posted by County Taxpayer on Wed, Aug 26, 2009, at 5:24 PM

Kraig, Very nice story and we are all very proud of you back in Brazil! Looks like in the picture the Coast Guard needs to update their 47ft self-righting Coxswain. LOL.... Sorry the Brazil Times couldn't get the right description in your picture. Don't feel bad they don't get any story right that they put in it. There is always some mistake. At least they got your name right and your picture in instead of someone else's for the story. Keep the Friendship.. er .. I mean Coxswain upright.


-- Posted by DEP1977 on Wed, Aug 26, 2009, at 7:08 PM

Kraig, It looks like the Coast Guard needs to update the 47ft self-righting Coxswain. LOL..Don't feel bad they never get any story completely right. At least it is your picture and your name in the article. We are all very proud of you back in Brazil. It is so nice to hear you enjoy what you are doing so much. Keep that ole 171 ft. three master Friendship upright...because it is NOT self righting. DP

-- Posted by DEP1977 on Wed, Aug 26, 2009, at 7:35 PM

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