Sunday, January 29, 2012

USCGC BLACKTHORN MEMORIAL - {Tampa Bay Event Photographer}

This past Saturday morning I had the honor of attending the 32nd Annual Memorial for the USCGC Blackthorn which sank on January 28, 1980, off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg, Fl.  Tragically, 23 of her crew perished that day.   My husband who is a Senior Chief in the Coast Guard has participated in this event each of the years that we have been stationed here in Tampa Bay and I'm ashamed to say this was the first time I went with him.  I had heard the story about the Blackthorn and it's collision with the Capricorn off the bridge before, but the significance of what happened that day and as a result of the accident had escaped me until the service.  Regulations were changed that are believed to have helped prevent a repeat of that awful incident.   If you want to read more about the Blackthorn's history and what happened in detail, click here.    I wanted to also mention Seaman William "Billy" Flores.  You can read more about his heroics and the newly announced Coast Guard vessel named after him here.

Standing at the ready and waiting to lay roses at during the service is the future crew of the USCGC William Flores.

Watching the fly over by a Coast Guard C130 and two H-60J Helicopters.

This is the actual bell from the USCGC Blackthorn.  It can be seen at the normally at the Armed Forces Military Museum located in Largo, Fl.

Roses were laid for each crewman lost that day.

21 Gun Salute.


  1. Heartbreaking... :( Beautiful photos from the tribute.

  2. I have such great respect for those who serve, especially coming from a military family. Tell your husband thank you!

  3. I echo those comments as well. So proud of our U.S. military. Do hope some good has come from the tragedy of the Blackthorn.

  4. Lovely images, lovely tribute. I'm especially liking the man watching the flyover.