U.S. Coast Guard

42nd Annual Coast Guard Reception at the Cliff House

By Michael Durand

Diners enjoying their meal and the sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean at the Cliff House saw a sailboat in distress in the choppy surf near Seal Rocks. They alerted the restaurant’s owner, Dan Hountalas, who called for help. The U.S. Coast Guard came to the rescue.

That was 42 years ago.

When Hountalas received a note from the people who were rescued thanking him for his help, he had a realization.

“I thought, they shouldn’t be thanking me. They should be thanking the Coast Guard!” Hountalas said.

Since that day, Hountalas has hosted a luncheon at the Cliff House for members from the Bay Area’s Coast Guard every year to thank them for their ongoing service to protect San Francisco’s 15 miles of shoreline and well beyond.

On Sept. 5, the Cliff House continued the 42-year-old tradition with a private reception and luncheon in the Terrace Room that features the same sweeping view of part of the Coast Guard’s territory; the Pacific Ocean and Seal Rocks, the scene of the rescue over four decades ago.

Uniformed service members – most of whom were a long away from even being born the year the historic rescue happened – got to enjoy some time off to mingle with their peers. The Cliff House hosted the food (from the kitchen of Chef Kevin Weber who joined the Cliff House four decades ago, not long after the famous rescue), drinks and the magnificent setting. The service members also got to hear praise from local leaders.

Dignitaries who spoke to commend and thank the members of the Coast Guard included: Master of Ceremonies George Choppelas, a retired judge of the Superior Court of California and a former member of the SF Board of Supervisors; former San Francisco supervisor, state senator and member of the SF Ethics Commission, Quentin Kopp; former SF police chief, Tony Ribera; and Laura Joss, general superintendent of the Golden Gate Park Recreation Area.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed also stopped by to thank the organization and to present to Admiral Linda Fagan, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area commander, a proclamation declaring Sept. 5, 2019 as U.S. Coast Guard and Cliff House Day in San Francisco.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was a fly-by and rescue demonstration by Coast Guard helicopters and boats and their personnel.

Photos by Michael Durand, except where noted.

DSC03620

San Francisco Mayor London Breed presented a city proclamation to Admiral Linda Fagan, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area commander.

DSC03567

DSC03569

DSC03571

Looking south from the Cliff House along Ocean Beach.

DSC03572

Seal Rocks

DSC03575

DSC03577

Master of Ceremonies George Choppelas.

DSC03580

DSC03586

Quentin Kopp

DSC03593

DSC03596

Tony Ribera.

DSC03603

DSC03609

San Francisco Mayor London Breed

DSC03612

CG Breed and CG laughing

U.S. Coast Guard. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew S Masaschi.

DSC03651

Laura Joss

DSC03655

Dan Hountalas

DSC03660

The Coast Guard presented the Cliff House with a model light house adorned with emblems from a variety of Bay Area Coast Guard stations as a thank you for their years of generosity.

DSC03664

DSC03667

CG Helicopter fly by

U.S. Coast Guard. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew S. Masaschi.

DSC03672

DSC03675

U.S. Coast Guard. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew S. Masaschi.

DSC03676

DSC03678

DSC03689

DSC03690

DSC03705

Version 2

U.S. Coast Guard. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew S. Masaschi.

CG overlooking crowd on deck

U.S. Coast Guard. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew S. Masaschi.

CG Breed and CG laughing

U.S. Coast Guard. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew S. Masaschi.

TOP

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s