Coast Guardsman aided in cleanup of Sandy's destruction PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 27 December 2012 09:57
Andy Dettmer, who is on leave from the U.S. Coast Gurard after helping with Hurricane Sandy recovery. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Growing up in northeast Ohio, U.S. Coast Guard ships were a common sight and something that sparked an interest for Bowling Green's Andy Dettmer.
Years later, Dettmer is a 10-year Coast Guard veteran and recently helped with the cleanup after Hurricane Sandy.
The second-class machine technician was called to assist another Coast Guard unit whose boat and other resources were destroyed by the powerful and deadly storm. His two-week mission kept him away from his family over Thanksgiving.
"It was definitely interesting to know that when a Coast Guard unit goes down, another one volunteers," said Dettmer during an interview while he was home holiday leave over Christmas. "It was a team effort." 
As Sandy neared the coast, Dettmer's unit went out to sea to avoid damage to its ship.
From there, the ship traveled to the New Jersey coast to begin cleanup.
"The pier where the ships were tied up ... there was no pier left," Dettmer recalled.
The primary assignment for Dettmer's unit was to use a massive crane aboard the Abbie Burgess to realign 12,000-pound buoys - essential to directing ship traffic.
Many of the buoys were tossed around like featherweights as Sandy made her surge.
In one instance, Dettmer recalled, "The chain that is attached to the buoy was completely balled up."
"Water is very powerful and those buoys just came up and moved," he said.
While his crew saw much personal property destruction as well as heavy damage to a fellow Coast Guard unit, Dettmer said they did not see the worst of it.
"We didn't go too far into the city," he said.
Dettmer, the son of Herb and Becky Dettmer, Bowling Green, joined the Coast Guard out of high school in 2002.
Over the course of his career, he has been stationed in several places including New York, Virginia, North Carolina and as close as Toledo.
In Toledo he helped with pollution prevention and inspection for large boats coming through port.
He also volunteered in 2008 to go overseas for a year aboard an 110-foot boat which patrolled oil platforms.
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 December 2012 10:24

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