BEAUMONT, Texas — On Thursday, people got a glimpse of the type of boats and equipment the US Coast Guard uses.
This was part of transportation week with the Port of Beaumont.
The Port of Beaumont is the largest petrochemical port in the US and one of the Coast Guard's duties is to protect the ships that go in and out.
The US Coast Guard is the only military branch within the Department of Homeland Security. Members help watch the waters of the Texas coast.
They're in charge of everything from commerce to search and rescue operations.
All along the Texas coast, members of the U.S. Coast Guard watch the water every day.
In our region, that means being vigilant to protect our ports and the ships that come in and out of the Sabine Neches waterway.
"This is the largest petrochemical port in the nation, and we do our job to prevent and respond to any emergencies, calls, and protect the ships that go in and out," said Executive Petty Officer Connor Marshall.
This week for the first time the Coast Guard Sabine Station joined the Port of Beaumont for a show and tell. It all coincides with transportation week.
“Boating safety is very important for the coast guard,” said Marshall. “We do a lot of border patrols and safety zones. Checking life jackets, it's very important to wear life jackets. We do a lot of that here at the station.”
Marshall gave people the chance to see four different boats and the Houston station's helicopter.
The Sabine station covers from the Port of Beaumont to about 50 miles past the opening of the Sabine River into the Gulf of Mexico.
They also tackle emergencies like this oil rig fire at the Sabine pass shipyard, that happened back in February.
This was their reaction back then.
“Just a little more challenging as far as where we were going to pick up the people on the jacking rig, and how we were going to get them off the rig safely with what was going on,” Marshall said.
The Coast Guard was able to rescue nine workers who say, they were lucky to be alive.
“The only way out for them was to call a helicopter," Marshall said. "We went to the scene, there was no ladder to get them down, and we couldn't use the crane. So, we ended up calling the air station, and they responded in 30 minutes.”
The Coast Guard rescues stretch all along the Texas coast from Galveston to Port Aransas and even the border. Marshall said it's important to share their mission.
“It's important to get the public involved in what we do,” Marshall said.
The Coast Guard also hosts educational events at public fairs, festivals and parades.