DEPOE BAY — Christopher Hinote started the morning on July 12 as a Senior Chief and the Officer in Charge of Coast Guard Station Depoe Bay. By noon, he was Master Chief and relieved of his Oregon post, headed for Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay. Senior Chief Adam Murray is now serving as officer in charge for the Hole in the Wall Gang.
Hinote was presented with his new cover upon advancement to his new rank by retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Mike Leavitt, for whom Hinote once served as executive officer while stationed at Tillamook Bay. Leavitt, E10 no. 11, told the News-Times that it was an honor to put the cap on such an excellent and hardworking officer.
Hinote was pinned with his newest insignia by his two sons as his wife, Amanda, looked on with pride. Their daughter in Germany viewed the ceremony via FaceTime.
Overcome with emotion, Hinote struggled for the words to say — which Captain Olav Saboe, commander of Sector North Bend, noted was a first, bringing chuckles from the crew. Instead, Hinote saved his speech for the change in command.
However, his speech was still laced with emotion, and he struggled at times to get through sentences as he acknowledged his station and its crew. Hinote offered some advice to the incoming command.
“Senior Chief Murray: enjoy it,” said Hinote. “It’s been a blast. It’s a great crew … the way we tow and just everything we do is a little bit different here. This is probably some of the best crewman on the coast. They know I care about them.”
Hinote was recognized by Saboe for his many achievements and presented with a commendation medal for his efforts as officer in charge of Depoe Bay. Saboe recounted that, under Hinote’s leadership, the crew responded to 76 search-and-rescue cases, saved or assisted 172 people in distress, preserved $3.8 million of property, partnered with NOAA to remove destructive boulders in the harbor, donated 240 pints of blood and excelled in getting involved in the community — including participation in the Fleet of Flowers celebration each Memorial Day.
In addition to the dozens of Coasties in uniform and the friends and family of the two officers of the hour, a few distinguished guests made an appearance: retired Master Chief of the Coast Guard Mike Leavitt, Depoe Bay Fire Chief Bill Johnson, three Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies and members of the Fleet of Flowers committee. They were all thanked for attending by multiple speakers.
“This unit is a national treasure,” said Saboe, “and I love the fact that the community here takes as much pride in Station Depoe Bay as us Coasties do.”
Hinote has orders to head next to Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay in Eureka, Calif. — the same place where he began his career 25 years ago. The master chief began his tenure as officer in charge at Depoe Bay almost exactly two years prior, on July 14, 2017.
Hinote’s successor, Senior Chief Adam Murray, was last stationed at Coast Guard Station Cape Cod Canal in Massachusetts and has previously served with Depoe Bay’s current executive officer, Chief Derek Seehagen.
“Crew, we’re in good hands,” assured Seehagen.