Washington Native And Coast Guard Pilot Saving Lives In Wake Of Superstorm Sandy
by Kelsey Watts, KHQ Local News Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
COLBERT, Wash – Lieutenant Skylar Swenson is making his family back here in Washington proud.
He's a Coast Guard helicopter pilot based at the Coast Guard Air Station in New Jersey, and he's made headlines before, flying national news crews over the Gulf oil spill, and again this summer, flying a Coast Guard helicopter over flooded parts of Minnesota, rescuing a couple stuck at their home.
And now, he's helping where it's needed most – along the Potomac.
"Skylar had been out and he was involved in three life saving rescues, and 10 in all," his proud father, Monte Swenson, told KHQ.
His father, Monte Swenson, who lives in Colbert, Washington, just got that call Tuesday morning, from his daughter-in-law who is waiting out the storm with the couple's little baby in a Philadelphia hotel.
While the details of the rescue are not yet clear, Lt. Swenson's wife reported he'd rescued people stuck in flooding, including one man left on top of his roof, after his neighbor's homes had burned down.
"I hope everything goes well for those folks because I know those rescues, those are not without risk," Monte Swenson added.
His son is a graduate of Lacrosse High School, and joined the Coast Guard five years ago. But, he moved from Traverse City, Michigan, to his current base in New Jersey just two months ago.
And while his parents know his job is risky:
"You definitely think about it, but he's wanted to fly ever since we was a young man, I mean aviation has been in his blood," Swenson added.
Knowing their son is saving lives in the aftermath of one of the worst storms to hit the U.S., today – and every day – Monte Swenson is one proud poppa.
"Any of those kids who are back there wearing those coast guard uniforms, helping people out in times like this, I'm very proud of that whole organization," he told KHQ.
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