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Coast Guard chief disciplined over storm outing

October 24, 2009 1:37:03 PM PDT
An officer at a Coast Guard station on eastern Long Island has been relieved of command after photos turned up on the Internet of two rescue boats training in heavy surf generated by Hurricane Bill. A Coast Guard commander tells Newsday that Chief Petty Officer James Weber put his boats and crews in a dangerous situation during the August storm.

One spectacular picture showed one of the $1.2 million boats half out of the water with its bow pointed skyward as it flew over the top of a cresting swell near Montauk.

Coast Guard Capt. Daniel Ronan says neither Weber nor the skipper of a second boat was properly qualified to operated in surf that high.

Weber could still be reinstated if he appeals.

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