Madeira Beach Mayor Travis Palladeno recently participated in a boat rescue exercise with members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary on a C-130 training mission in the Gulf of Mexico. In front, from left, are Palladeno and Brenda Burger, vice commander of the Auxiliary’s Madeira Beach flotilla. In back, from left, are Division 11 Public Affairs Officer Tom Loughlin, along with crewmembers Buddy Casale and John Fiorillo.
TARPON SPRINGS – Madeira Beach Mayor Travis Palladeno was recently a guest on a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary boat during a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft training exercise in the Gulf of Mexico off Tarpon Springs.
The wind and seas were favorable and the boat arrived at the designated spot at 9:30 a.m., slightly before the C-130.
After dropping a special smoke flare to mark a simulated distressed vessel, the C-130 approached at 200 feet and parachute-dropped a simulated water pump. Boat owner Tom Loughlin maneuvered to the pump to bring it aboard.
The next exercise was for the aircraft to drop a 1,000-foot line with five bags simulating life rafts and emergency supplies spaced every 200 feet. The job of the Coast Guardsmen on board was to bring the gear aboard.
After two series of these drops, the aircraft dropped to 50 feet and than approached the boat at 150 knots to drop what is called a special message block.
The 70-foot nylon streamer attached to the plastic message container was presented to Palladeno as a souvenir of his day with the Coast Guard Auxiliary.