Search and rescue is the backbone of the Coast Guard, and one of just MANY important responsibilities. SAR can occur both from a shore station and Coast Guard Cutters at sea. EXPECT to be assigned to a Cutter during your Coast Guard Career. The CG is a seagoing service. Everyone is expected to understand that they probably will spend a large amount of time at sea during their career. There are no "shore people" and "Cutter people" in the Coast Guard, everyone can and will go underway on a Cutter in most cases. Very few ratings spend their whole career on land. If you are interested in Search and rescue, check out the BM and MK ratings.