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Career Week Spotlight - LT Hayden Veech

Stefanie Senkow
November 1, 2021

LT Hayden VeechMarine Inspection/Investigation
Hometown: Destin, FL
Current Assignment: Marine Investigator

NEW LONDON, Conn – LT Veech’s first assignment was marine inspector in Houma, LA at MSU Houma. From there, she went to Staten Island, NY to be a marine investigator at Sector New York. Now she’s heading to the Coast Guard Academy to share her experiences with first class cadets during Career Week.

What goes into a marine inspection?

As a marine inspector, I research the vessel(s) scheduled for inspection that day. After getting a team together, we head to the shipyard. We then inspect to identify any discrepancies with emphasis on life saving, firefighting, navigational equipment, mechanical systems, security and crew competency.

What happens after the inspection?

Once all deficiencies have been discussed with the vessel representative, we go back to the office to produce all the documentation needed to complete the vessel inspection that day.

How do your days vary as a marine inspector?

In Louisiana you could be on one offshore supply vessel used for oil production or you could be inspecting several swamp tour airboats used to spot alligators and other wildlife. Some of the inspections may include Certificate of Inspection renewal or issuance, internal structure exams, hull exams, or damage surveys. With these different types of inspections or exams, some days are messier than others but at the end of each inspection the importance is the crew’s safety and the vessel’s seaworthiness.

Describe your current role as marine investigator.

As a marine investigator I conduct marine casualty investigations such as loss of life, injuries, vessel damage, flooding, collisions and more. I collect evidence and review causal analysis for each casualty and determine violations that may have occurred.

Something you’re most proud of?

In my marine inspector role, I truly saw the impact our team had on preventing a possible marine casualty from going bad to worse. During one inspection, my team and I had begun the portion of the crew’s competency to their required drills. Once we created a mock fire in the engine room, we noticed that the crew had not discussed or acted out using their fixed fire extinguishing system. After asking why they did not use it, the crew was not competent in this piece of equipment and did not understand how it worked. The severity the crew and company had put themselves in by not learning or teaching this important piece of equipment was absolutely life threatening. We spent the rest of the inspection focused on the crew’s drills and attended the vessel another day not only to give them more time to understand their equipment but to be able to utilize it properly while under a potentially stressful environment.

What is the best part about Coast Guard life?

The comradery. Moving to an entirely new place every few years can be hard, especially when you make such great connections at the previous unit; but it’s knowing that there are always such welcoming shipmates at each unit. The comradery and family feeling you receive right away truly makes the Coast Guard one of a kind.

What do you hope cadets get out of your presentation on Career Night?

I hope cadets receive insight on the marine inspection and marine investigation tours and the prevention career path as a whole. I hope they can see that although it is challenging work, it is very rewarding.

Explore the marine career possibilities of a Coast Guard officer.