Sixty-nine-year-old Orcutt resident Guy Cravath was part of the U.S. Coast Guard's search-and-rescue program before his profession became the domain of the highly-elite.

That was when the Coast Guard used hoists with baskets to pluck distressed boaters from the water, rather than rescue swimmers. The year was 1968, and military service was the last thing on Cravath’s mind during the height of the Vietnam War. But Cravath wasn’t a great student in high school and so his father encouraged him to enlist in the Coast Guard out of Long Beach, his hometown. “I had no plan,” Cravath said. “I was going to graduate and get a job and wait to be drafted. That’s how stupid I was. My dad wasn’t going to have any of that.” Cravath almost didn’t make it out of high school, but ironically he scored high enough on the test to get into the Coast Guard, and his service laid the foundation for a lifetime of education.