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In this episode of The Real ResQ, host Jason Quinn is joined by Martha LaGuardia-Kotite, a retired U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Captain.

Growing up in Destin, Florida, she loved being on the water. Around graduation, her dad mentioned the USCG, “because he wasn’t paying for college.” That was all the coercion she needed. With the idea of helping save lives, she was in!

The first rescue effort she remembers happened while she was still a cadet. LaGuardia-Kotite was assigned to a ship in Key West, Florida, for a patrol around the southeast area of U.S. waters. While out on patrol, her ship came upon a Haitian ship trying to immigrate to the U.S.

Later in the conversation, she tells about her experience as one of the first female officers to serve aboard two Coast Guard cutters with all male crews. On those deployments they patrolled the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

LaGuardia-Kotite also speaks about how she came to write five books, including the award-winning So Others May Live – Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers Saving Lives, Defying Death – which Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher used for their roles in the movie, The Guardian. Two of her other books are titled, My Name is Old Glory and Changing the Rules of Engagement.

The conversation concludes by talking about the “hobby” she has now. LaGuardia-Kotite is driving Zodiac MK6s for the Seabourn cruise ship company, bringing passengers right up to glaciers and around humpback whales and Orcas. For her, it’s a great way to spend retirement. Enjoy!