Coast Guard base preps recruits for daring rescues

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Associated Press

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 2 at 3:05 PM

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — A new multimillion-dollar facility in North Carolina is helping Coast Guard rescue swimmers prepare for dangerous missions like the one they carried out to save 14 people on the HMS Bounty.

The $24 million training center in Elizabeth City opened a month ago and has state-of-the-art resources such as a wave pool, large fans that blow winds of 70 mph and a lighting and sound system that can simulate a nighttime storm.

The new facility replaces a nearly 70-year-old swimming pool that was too small and too shallow to simulate actual rescue missions.

There are about 350 active Coast Guard rescue swimmers spread out from Alaska's Aleutian Islands to Puerto Rico.

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