Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Careers

One of the most challenging Careers in the Coast Guard is the Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer. The Rescue Swimmer is the Aviation survival technician, and is trained in Emergency Medical procedures such as EMT basic. Coast Guard personnel are used to perform search and rescue for boaters, fisherman, and others who venture onto the oceans and waterways, and then who run into emergency situations or danger and need rescue.

Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers, or Aviation Survival Technicians are professionals, and experts in rescue operations. They are trained in not only water rescues but in situations such as severe storms, hurricanes and cliff type rescues, it’s all in a days work for the Coast Guard Aviation Survival technician. Coast Guard survival techs also work to administer survival lectures and water egress training to Coast Guard Aviators. Serving in the Coast Guard is a lot like joining a select family, the Coast Guard is the smallest of the five military services and so you find that personnel join in and are often cross trained to help out in other positions. AST personnel also perform ground servicing of aircraft and routine aircraft safety inspections, and assist in the general aviation administration duties.

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Training for a Aviation Survivalist technician or Coast Guard Rescue swimmer begins with 9 weeks of boot camp at Cape May, New Jersey. After the basic training experience, training for individual advanced specialty training takes place in a 16 week Class A technical school. While at technical school training, Coast Guard ‘A’ school work in simulated field conditions and classroom training to learn how to inspect, maintain and service aerial cargo delivery systems, dewatering equipment, survival at sea equipment, special purpose clothing and emergency gear, and other general aviation equipment. AST’s receive training on Aviation pyrotechnic devices as well as aviation ordinance gear. It is a job specialty not for the faint of heart.

The responsibility of a Coast Guard AST is high, with a demand for a high level of physical conditioning. It is a very stressful and severe training that many people do not make it through, in this way it is similar to Special Operations type training. Each Coast Guard Rescue swimmer must pass an aircrew physical and also they have to be able to pass the security clearance for a secret level clearance. Check out all military jobs at




7 Responses to “Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Careers”

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I live in New Jersey and I was curious as to how I would go about joining the coast guard AST program, please email me back, thank you

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