An official memorial was held for BM2 David Bosley, MK3 Matthew Schlimme, and SN Clinton Miniken on 19 February 1997. Every year since, Coast Guard Station Quillayute River has gathered people together to remember the sacrifice these men made on a dark night in early 1997.
Many people joined together immediately after the incident to pay their respects. Anticipating a large turnout, the Quiletute tribe offered the use of their tribal center.
The Coast Guard Commandant, federal officials, state representatives, statewide law enforcement, international search and rescue professionals, national news media, and representatives from every Pacific Northwest Coast Guard station were in attendance. Local Quileute tribal members offered ceremonial blankets to Officer in Charge BMCM George LaForge and survivor SA Benjamin Wingo to ensure they remained safe in life. (1)
U.S. Coast Guard photos
During the ceremony, the chaplain read a passage written about the Life-Saving Service in 1885 (1)(2):
These poor plain men, dwellers upon the
lonely shores, took their lives in their hands,
and at the most imminent risk,
crossed the most tumultuous sea…
and all for what?
That others might live to see home and friends.
In October 1997, a memorial plaque inscribed with these words was placed at the base of a memorial in front of the station. The awe-some, six-foot, bronze piece was titled, “The Ready Crew” by artist Kevin Pettelle and rests upon a 7,300 pound piece of granite. It was commissioned with funds raised by the Port Angeles chapter of the U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer’s Association. (1)(3)(4)
That Others Might Live
From 1876 to the present, over 250 boat crew personnel have perished fulfilling their duties on rescue calls and during regular training and operations. Countless others perished in the decades prior. (1)(5)(6)
The Coast Guard memorializes fallen small boat sailors in its Boat Force Memorial, which has been continuously updated with the names of those lost since 1876. (6)
U.S. Coast Guard image
Fair Winds and Following Seas
BM2 David A. Bosley
MK3 Matthew E. Schlimme
SN Clinton P. Miniken
(1) Noble, Dennis L. The Rescue of the Gale Runner. University Press of Florida, 2002.
(2) “The U.S. Life-Saving Service.” National Park Service Cape Hatteras National Seashore, 13 Sept. 2021, https://www.nps.gov/caha/learn/historyculture/lifesaving-service.htm.
(3) AP. “Statue Honors Coast Guard Rescuers.” Kitsap Sun, 4 Oct. 1997, http://products.kitsapsun.com/archive/1997/10-04/0004_statue_honors_coast_guard_rescuer.html
(4) “Kevin Edwin Pettelle and Soul in Bronze Sculpture Studio.” The Ready Crew 1998, www.soulinbronze.com/the-ready-crew-1998.html
(5) Noble, Dennis L. That Others Might Live: The U.S. Life-Saving Service, 1878-1915. Naval Institute Press, 1994.
(5) U.S. Coast Guard Boat Force Memorial, 2019
cover: U.S. Coast Guard photo