Gary J. Hudson retired as a chief boatswains mate in 1979 from the U.S. Coast Guard after twenty years of service. Ten of those years, he served at coastal lifeboat stations in the Pacific Northwest. There were two tours at station Point Adams, Hammond, Oregon, and two tours at station Cape Disappointment, Ilwaco, Washington. Both of these stations are located near the entrance to the Columbia River.
In 1961, Hudson served as a seaman at Point Adams and was transferred to a light station a few days before the 12 January 1961 Triumph-Mermaid incident. In future tours at Point Adams and Cape Disappointment, he served as a qualified heavy weather coxswain and surfman.