Coast Guard

U.S. Coast Guard

Over the past two weeks, 22 boats in the Chicago area have been ordered to cease operation due to illegal charter service.  This discovery was part of a 39-boat search by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

IDNR issued 14 misdemeanor charges, including obstruction of justice.  The Coast Guard issued several Notice of Violation citations – which totaled more than $50,000 according to a statement from the Coast Guard Ninth District.

Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

The first woman to lead the Coast Guard district that covers the Great Lakes is retiring Wednesday. 

In the two years Rear Admiral June Ryan has been Commander of the 9th District, the winters have been mild.  And there hasn’t really been a need for ice-breaking – what she calls the Coast Guard Great Lakes' greatest challenge.


Seventy-five years ago, the SPARS were created to take the job of thousands of Coast Guardsmen who had to leave their posts to fight in World War II. 

Mabel Johnson was one of them – she enlisted in 1943 and was first sent to Cleveland.  The 102-year old returned Thursday for a visit.


Elizabeth Miller/ideastream

"Anyone there? Please, tell us - we're all tired and we're all hungry. Please come back!"

Fake distress calls like this one placed via marine radio can sound identical to real ones. And the U.S. Coast Guard 9th District, which covers the Great Lakes, takes every call seriously.

But the number of fake calls has skyrocketed this year.