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Coast Guard boss praises crews in interview about The Finest Hours

Jody Thomas Coast Guard Commissioner Canada- Finest Hours
Jody Thomas is the first female Commissioner in the Canadian Coast Guard’s history

Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner Jody Thomas has praised the bravery of crews in an interview with M&C about new movie The Finest Hours.

Thomas told how the Canadian Coast Guard saves an average of 15 people every day of the year.

She said: “The resilence required to do this kind of work is really quite extraordinary. They’re professionals. They’re passionate about what they do. It’s a no-fail mission, you have to go out and save people.”

Thomas spoke to M&C to raise awareness about what the Coast Guard’s heroic workers do to coincide with the release of new movie The Finest Hours.

The film is based on the true story of a daring sea rescue carried out by the US Coast Guard during a terrifying storm off Cape Cod in 1952.

Watch the full interview with Canadian Coast Guard Commissioner Jody Thomas

Thomas is the Canadian Coast Guard’s first ever female Commissioner.

She said: “The Coast Guard on average saves 15 people a day on the waters, whether it is in the Arctic ocean, either coast, or the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway – every single day of the year.”

Asked what a Coast Guard call-out involved, she added: “Often you’ll be sent away, as the search was a false alarm. But when it happens, it happens fast – when you really have to go find somebody, generally in bad weather, generally in terrible conditions.

“Because you’re at sea you don’t actually know where people are. People drift, and ships drift. You only know the last known position of where a vessel was reported.

“So, the people on the water are risking their lives but there’s an entire network of people supporting them trying to tell them where to go, where to search and how to search.”

Thomas said the Canadian Coast Guard had been “very lucky” not to have lost many lives.

She said: “We had a tragedy three years ago when we had a helicopter crash in the Arctic and we lost the commanding officer of the CCGS Amundsen [an Arctic icebreaker and research vessel], the pilot of the helicopter, and a world-reknowned scientist.

“So that was quite a tragedy recently, but we’ve been very lucky that our crews are professional, they’re well trained, they know what they’re doing, they’re experts at their job, and we haven’t lost that many people – although there have been some.”

The Finest Hours is in theaters now.

Award-winning writer and reporter Anne Brodie has covered film and filmmakers on television, print and online for more than 30 years. 20 year member of... read more

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