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"Transportation is the engine of America. Keeping that engine running smoothly and safely is more than a career path, it’s a passion and a purpose."
Sonny Gomez uses the skills she’s learned in the Coast Guard as a marine investigator to maintain and enhance the safety of the waterways in and around her base in the Pacific Northwest.
Having graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy before joining the Coast Guard Sonny has long been well-versed in the operation of seagoing vessels of all shapes and sizes. But her experience as a prevention officer, and now as a marine investigator, has meant expanding her knowledge and applying it – in the shipyard, on the water and in the courtroom.
“As a prevention officer, you learn everything there is to know about boats and boating regulations through detailed inspections of vessels of all sorts,” says Sonny. “That base of knowledge is key to becoming an investigator. Today, I need to analyze, document, and then present to a judge every aspect of the operation and performance of a vessel.
Sonny not only leads investigations to determine the causes of incidents on the water, she is also present in the courtroom as a vital member of the Coast Guard legal team that prosecutes violations of state, federal and international maritime law.
“Digging into maritime law has opened up a world of possibilities for me,” she says.
“Transportation is the engine of America. Keeping that engine running smoothly and safely is more than a career path, it’s a passion and a purpose.”