Featured Station Mascot: Mako Danforth Seastar, guardian of Elizabeth City

BM1 Mako faithfully watches over the crew of Station Elizabeth City.

BM1 Mako faithfully watches over the crew of Station Elizabeth City.

 

Most people commonly associate the Coast Guard’s presence at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, with our brave aircrews who not only are trained at the Aviation Technical Training Center, but also deploy from the Air Station assisting mariners in distress along the mid-Atlantic coast. Often overlooked is the small boat station that also resides on the base, providing 24-7 response to the boating community of North Carolina. While the Coast Guard Air Station often receives most of the attention, Station Elizabeth City is home to the most recognizable Coast Guard member in the community, Boatswain’s Mate First Class Mako Danforth Seastar.

Known better as Mako, this golden retriever has been standing the watch alongside his human counterparts since 2007 and is a valued member of the Coast Guard family. Mako’s favorite part of the day is when relief crews show up early in the morning; he runs to the entrance of the station greeting each of his human friends by barking excitedly. Mako’s excitement about his Coast Guard companions is what has helped countless new members transition to the unit seamlessly. While they may be in a new location with new roles and responsibilities, they already have their first friend the moment they step through the door and Mako runs to introduce himself.

BM1 Mako comes to greet station crew members as he does every morning.

BM1 Mako comes to greet station crew members as he does every morning.

After watch reliefs are done, Mako follows the boat crews throughout their daily routine, assisting them with daily engineering checks and accompanying them to meals. When the crew is ready to head out for training evolutions or recreational boardings, Mako jumps aboard and is excited to get underway with the team. Mako proudly sports his coxswain’s insignia on his collar, and with his years of experience, he is one of the more seasoned coxswains at the station. He hasn’t been able to ride on the two new 29-foot small boats that recently arrived to the station, but he is definitely looking forward to trying out the roomier new vessels.

Mako’s favorite activities are community outreach events such as open houses and tours where the crew talks with local groups about the Coast Guard and its missions. Mako is always excited to interact with children and to teach them about safe boating practices by donning his own special life jacket, which he always wears underway. It’s clear through interactions such as these that Mako’s true gift is the special type of friendship he brings to everyone. This Thanksgiving, that special friendship will be especially important, when he joins the crew at the station as he has for the past seven years. While the boat crew members may not be home, Mako is there to ensure his human friends feel a welcome part of the Coast Guard family at his home, Station Elizabeth City.

BM1 Mako poses with his Coast Guard family aboard one of their new 29-foot small boats.

BM1 Mako poses with his Coast Guard family aboard one of their new 29-foot small boats.