Recent Updates for U.S. Coast Guard Digital Newsroom

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Updated: 3 hours 38 min ago

Coast Guard urges mariners, beachgoers to exercise caution due to forecasted hazardous surf conditions

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 19:48

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard urges boaters and beachgoers to exercise caution in and around the waters along the coastal north bay region due to forecasted weather conditions expected to impact the area beginning Thursday morning.

Hazardous surf conditions are expected to affect the local waters from Thursday morning to Friday morning, where surf heights are expected to build to 20 feet by midday.

The Coast Guard reminds people to remain vigilant and avoid going near low-lying beaches and other coastal areas including jetties and rocky areas during heavy weather. Large waves can quickly and unexpectedly sweep a person into cold and turbulent waters.

The Coast Guard recommends that mariners always:

  • Stay Informed - be aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of currents through local television, radio and internet. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out, and be aware that weather conditions can quickly change
  • File a float plan with a family member or friend, which includes information about the boat, the number of passengers aboard, the destination of where the vessel will be operating and an expected time of return
  • Have a working marine-band radio and use VHF-FM channel 16 in the event of an emergency
  • Wear a life jacket

"Mariners are advised to avoid boating in adverse weather conditions and especially near surf zones," said Petty Officer 1st Class Brent Reid, a Sector San Francisco Command Center watchstander. "Mariners should be advised that Coast Guard rescue efforts can be significantly delayed in high surf conditions."

More information on the current weather conditions can be found at the National Weather Service's site at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/.

Coast Guard urges mariners, beachgoers to exercise caution due to forecasted hazardous surf conditions

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 19:48

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard urges boaters and beachgoers to exercise caution in and around the waters along the coastal north bay region due to forecasted weather conditions expected to impact the area beginning Thursday morning.

Hazardous surf conditions are expected to affect the local waters from Thursday morning to Friday morning, where surf heights are expected to build to 20 feet by midday.

The Coast Guard reminds people to remain vigilant and avoid going near low-lying beaches and other coastal areas including jetties and rocky areas during heavy weather. Large waves can quickly and unexpectedly sweep a person into cold and turbulent waters.

The Coast Guard recommends that mariners always:

  • Stay Informed - be aware of weather conditions and monitor the progress and strength of currents through local television, radio and internet. Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out, and be aware that weather conditions can quickly change
  • File a float plan with a family member or friend, which includes information about the boat, the number of passengers aboard, the destination of where the vessel will be operating and an expected time of return
  • Have a working marine-band radio and use VHF-FM channel 16 in the event of an emergency
  • Wear a life jacket

"Mariners are advised to avoid boating in adverse weather conditions and especially near surf zones," said Petty Officer 1st Class Brent Reid, a Sector San Francisco Command Center watchstander. "Mariners should be advised that Coast Guard rescue efforts can be significantly delayed in high surf conditions."

More information on the current weather conditions can be found at the National Weather Service's site at http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/.

Photo Release: Coast Guard holds 30th anniversary remembrance ceremony for fallen CG1473 aircrew

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 19:33
Editor’s Note: To view or download the photos, please click on the images below. Downloading from DVIDS requires free registration.

PHOTO RELEASE: Coast Guard air station in San Francisco celebrates 75 years of aviation

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 14:37

SAN FRANCISCO — Coast Guard personnel at Air Station San Francisco hosted an open house celebrating 75 years of Coast Guard aviation in addition to dedicating a Wall of Heroes Wednesday.

Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco was completed in February of 1941 and housed a PBY-5 Catalina seaplane and two RD-4 Dolphin seaplanes. 

Air Station San Francisco currently operates four MH-65 Dolphin helicopters. The station's area of responsibility covers 300 miles of coastline from Ft. Bragg to Point Conception, where the unit conducts the missions of patrolling ports and waterways, providing coastal security, protecting living marine resources, enforcing federal and international laws and regulations and providing logistical support.

The Wall of Heroes highlights Coast Guard aviators who have been recognized with prestigious operational aviation awards such as the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and Coast Guard Medal. 



FEATURE RELEASE: OPBAT - Beyond the drugs

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 12:16

Editor's note: Click on photos for link to high resolution versions

At 3:30 a.m., earlier that morning, watch standers at the Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OBAT) Operation Center, Nassau, received a call from the Great Inagua Police Department, stating nine people aboard the sailboat Change of Life were taking on water 17 miles west of the Great Inagua Lighthouse

In the early morning darkness, four Coast Guard air crew members donned their flight suits and, with gear in hand, made their way to a yellow MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter. The same crew who finished a drug smuggling patrol merely hours earlier, launched to search for nine people aboard a sinking boat. 

The crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable, a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter,  homeported in Virginia Beach, Virginia, also diverted to aid in the search-and-rescue mission. 

The Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Agency and Royal Bahamian Defense Force maintain a 24/7 presence on the islands in support of OPBAT - a tri-country agreement between the U.S., Turks and Caicos and U.K. governments to combat drug smuggling to and from the U.S., Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. In fiscal year 2015, the operation accounted for the interdiction of more than $80 million in narcotics. 

“OPBAT was formed in 1982 to counter wide-open cocaine smuggling from Columbia,” said Lt. Stacey Tate, OBAT’s deputy director. “It has since grown into the multi-faceted operation it is today.”  

Currently, 37 Coast Guard members and 21 DEA personnel support OPBAT. 

Though the Coast Guard’s OPBAT mission is to counter drug smuggling, air crew members forward deploy to Great Inagua, Andros Island and aboard cutters to support the Coast Guard’s primary mission – search and rescue.

 “Most of our rescues are medical evacuations from cruise ships or large tankers,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Rachel Post a helicopter pilot for Air Station Clearwater in Great Inagua. “Though, every now and again you get a career-defining rescue.”

Coast Guard members assigned to Air Station Clearwater routinly rotate deployments to Andros Island and Great Inagua. Members include maintenance personnel, ground crews, Jayhawk flight crews and site supervisors. Coast Guard, RBDF and DEA agents live and work side-by-side during every deployment.

Jeremy Nawyn, a DEA special agent deployed in Great Inagua described the multi-agency partnership as symbiotic.

 “The DEA is the primary intel, the Coast Guard has the assets and the country agents are the jurisdiction,” said Nawyn. “You can’t do the operation with just one." 

The rotors of the Jayhawk spun down slowly on the tarmac. The four-hour search yielded no sightings, and the air crew reached their daily fatigue limit. The crew of the Dependable continued to search. 

Just as the sun came up, a local fisherman found the sailboat aground. All nine people were aboard. 

A Coast Guard over-the-horizon boat crew from the Dependable handed life jackets to the nine suspected Haitian migrants. The boat crew, partnered with the RBDF, transported the nine men from the aground sailboat to Matthew Town. The same combined country and agency effort used to combat drug smuggling saved nine lives that day. The only reported injury - a sailboat.

From the first day of boot camp, Coast Guard members are taught to save lives. Though the counter-drug operation in the north eastern Atlantic continues around the clock, Coast Guard members are prepared for any life-saving call. As Air Station Clearwater’s motto states - Anytime. Anywhere.

US Coast Guard releases 2017 to 2021 National Recreational Boating Safety Program Strategic Plan

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 10:09

WASHINGTON —  The U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety released the Strategic Plan of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program 2017 to 2021 Wednesday.

This plan is the third in a series of five-year strategic plans and continues or updates boating safety initiatives and progress measurements that have proven successful over time, while closing gaps identified in the most recent review of strategic opportunities.

“This strategic plan is an important piece of the Coast Guard’s boating safety program,” said Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, assistant commandant for prevention policy. “Over the next five years, the Coast Guard will work closely with representatives of national recreational boating safety organizations to implement the various elements of the plan.”

The plan includes three primary initiatives: improve and expand recreational boating education, training and outreach; update, leverage and enforce policies, regulations and standards; and improve and expand recreational boating data collection and research.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to boat responsibly while on the water: wear a life jacket, take a boating safety course, attach your engine cut-off switch, get a free vessel safety check and avoid alcohol or other impairing substance consumption.

For further information on the current and past strategic plans, go to http://www.uscgboating.org/content/strategic-plan.php.

For more information on the Coast Guard's boating safety program, go to http://www.uscgboating.org.

 

UPDATE: Coast Guard suspends search for person in the water

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 08:42

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard located a body matching the description of the missing person in the water near Pass Christian Harbor, Mississippi, Wednesday.

Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a report at approximately 2:33 a.m., Tuesday, that an African-American male, appearing to be 40 years old or older, wearing a white T-shirt, fell into the water and drifted away from shore.

A 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Coast Guard Station Gulfport located the body at 9:58 a.m.

Mississippi Department of Marine Resources recovered the body and transported it to shore.

Coast Guard repatriates 14 migrants to the Dominican Republic

Wed, 11/02/2016 - 03:18

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard repatriated 14 migrants to the Dominican Republic Tuesday following an at-sea interdiction by the Coast Guard and the Caribbean Border Interagency Group law enforcement authorities in the Mona Passage.

“I am glad we were able to be on scene and safely remove the migrants from the unseaworthy vessel, a few short hours after embarking the migrants the vessel broke apart and sank to bottom of the Mona Passage,” said Lt. Nicholas Herndon, Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos commanding officer. 

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft detected a 25-foot grossly overloaded vessel off Puerto Rico Sunday night .  A Coast Guard Cutter interdicted the migrant vessel, safely embrking the migrants.

Once aboard a Coast Guard cutter, all migrants receive food, water, shelter and basic medical attention.

Since Oct. 1, at least 103 Dominicans attempted to migrate to the U.S. via the maritime environment compared to 96 in fiscal year 2016.  These statistics represent the total number of at-sea interdictions, landings and disruptions in the Florida Straits, the Caribbean and Atlantic.

The Coast Guard Cutter Joseph Tezanos is a 154-foot fast response cutter homeported in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Caribbean Border Interagency Group was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United States Attorney‘s Office for the District of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico Police Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA, for its Spanish acronym), in their common goal of securing the borders of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal migrant and drug smuggling.

 

Coast Guard member becomes US citizen in St. Peterburg

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 11:39

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Coast Guard Cutter Resolute crew member took the Oath of Allegiance Tuesday aboard the cutter in St. Petersburg to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. 

Seaman Samuel Gonzalez, a native of Monterrey, Mexico, joined the Coast Guard in 2015 and began the naturalization process.

Gonzalez was required to take part in a series of tests and interviews administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as a part of the process.

"This day is something I have been working toward my entire life," said Gonzalez. "My Resolute family being present was the best part, and I wouldn't have wanted to do it with anyone else but my shipmates on this cutter."

To be able to serve in the Coast Guard, an applicant must be either a U.S. citizen or a foreign national legally residing in the United States.

The Resolute is a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in St. Petersburg.

Coast Guard searches for person in the water

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 05:25

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard is searching for a person in the water near Pass Christian Harbor, Mississippi, Tuesday.

Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a report at approximately 2:33 a.m. that an African-American male, appearing to be 40 years old or older, wearing a white T-shirt, fell into the water and drifted away from shore.

Involved in the search are:

- Coast Guard 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Coast Guard Station Gulfport, Mississippi

- Mississippi Department of Marine Resources

- Pass Christian Fire Department

- Pass Christian Police Department

Anyone with information is requested to contact Sector Mobile (251) 441-6211.

Video Release: Coast Guard medevacs fishing vessel crewman 57 miles off Cold Bay, Alaska

Mon, 10/31/2016 - 20:33
Editor’s Note: To view or download the video, please click on the image below. Downloading from DVIDS requires free registration.

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