Coast Guard Member Spends 14 Hours Up Tower

Authorities spent the afternoon and night trying to get a Coast Guard member to climb down from a water tower at the agency's training center in Cape May.

A Coast Guard spokeswoman says the active guard member climbed the tower before noon Thursday and was still on a platform on the tower, about 140 feet above ground, more than 12 hours later. Spokeswoman Commander O. Ashburn said he wasn't wearing safety gear.

She said a Coast Guard helicopter flew over the tower to check on whether he has tired and to look for any hazards.

Officers and firefighters from the Coast Guard and Cape May as well as Cape May County Sheriff’s Department and SWAT team all responded in an attempt to bring a peaceful end to the situation.

Around 2 a.m., after 14 hours spending 14 hours on the tower, the unidentified man was handed a harness and climbed down.


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“We are so grateful the situation was able to be resolved safely,” said Capt. G. Todd Prestidge, the commanding officer of the training center. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the member and his family during this difficult time. I am very proud of the response from my crew and the local Coast Guard family, and appreciate the support and partnership from local agencies. Cape May County truly is a Coast Guard Community.”

The base has about 2,000 personnel including active members and recruits going through an eight-week training program.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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