Of the 40,000 members of the U.S. Coast Guard, only 330 of them are Rescue Swimmers. Ever seen “The Guardian?” Yeah, those are the guys.
I lifeguarded on the eastern shore with Cory a few summers ago. While I went on to teach and lifeguard, Cory Ciekot has since become one of those elite swimmers. We conducted an email interview while he was on a surf trip in Nicaragua.
What do you do for your profession, and what are your hobbies that are ocean-related?
My job is to operate as a Helicopter Rescue Swimmer (R/S) for the U.S. Coast Guard. Basically, my primary duty as a R/S is to stand 24 hour shifts once every four days to help boats in distress. For example, a boat might be taking on water, or a person aboard could be having a medical condition. In short, any time there’s a water emergency, my “crew”–the pilot, co-pilot, mechanic, and rescue swimmer, have to be ready to respond accordingly. Living within a 5 minute bike ride to the beach my entire life had prepared me to take on the toughest challenge I’ve ever encountered…passing Helicopter Rescue Swimmer school. When I am not at work, I have many hobbies that all revolve around the ocean, like surfing, open ocean swimming, beach lifeguarding, and diving. Just like any other surf lover, when I’m not at work, and the waves are on, you know where to find me.