WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Coast Guard Officers Return From New Orleans

Keokuk, IA – Several U-S Coast Guard members that have been rescuing survivors of Hurricane Katrina are back in the tri-state region. A regional disaster response team, which included 8 Keokuk-based officers, spent two weeks in New Orleans conducting search and rescue missions. Chief Petty Officer Brett Wickett says that despite the harsh conditions, the team rescued about 500 residents. He says the disaster response team spent 10 to 12 hours a day in their boats searching for people, neighborhood by neighborhood. Wickett says none of the officers from Keokuk were injured, although the heat and humidity took a toll on them. He does not know if the Keokuk-based officers will be called back to Louisiana.