Recent Updates for U.S. Coast Guard Digital Newsroom

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Updated: 2 hours 54 min ago

Coast Guard offloads $30 million worth of seized cocaine in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 12:33
4 suspected smugglers in U.S. federal custody

IMAGERY AVAILABLE: Coast Guard seeking public's help to locate owner of kayak off Oahu

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 11:54

HONOLULU-The Coast Guard is seeking the public's help identifying the owner of red kayak found approximately one mile off Nanakuli, between Electric Beach and Maili Point, Oahu, Wednesday. 

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the kayak is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center received a report from a boater stating they found the kayak unmanned and adrift, 8:18 a.m. today. 

There are currently no reported signs of distress or missing persons in the area.

Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to search for possible people in the water and Ocean Safety launched a Jet Ski to investigate and recover the kayak.

"The Coast Guard strongly encourages owners to label their gear with a name and contact information. Also, if the gear is lost, report it to the Coast Guard with a good description so that we can eliminate any unnecessary searches," said Lt. j.g. Victoria Lacefield-Rodriguez, command duty officer at the Sector Honolulu command center.

The Coast Guard offers free "If Found" decals to be placed in a visible location on human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program.  The information on the sticker allows response entities to quickly identify the vessel's owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

Coast Guard authorizes closure of Steel Railroad-Highway Bridge in Portland

Wed, 01/11/2017 - 11:00

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Coast Guard has authorized the closure of the Steel Railroad-Highway Bridge through Jan. 18, 2017.

The bridge, owned and operated by Union Pacific Railroad, spans the Willamette River at river mile marker 12.1 will be outfitted with electrical upgrades to the upper and lower lift spans and will be closed to maritime traffic that requires the bridge to be lifted.

When both decks are in the closed-to-navigation position, the bridge provides 26 feet of vertical clearance above Columbia River Datum 0.0. The bridge will not be able to open for emergencies, and there is no immediate alternate route for vessels to pass. Vessels which do not require an opening of these two bridges may continue to transit beneath the bridges during the authorized closure.

Commercial and recreational waterway users that regularly transit under the bridge were notified prior to the closure to assist them in planning for the transit disruption.

For more information on this closure, contact Keith Wagner at 503-249-3007.

 

Commercial shipping, ice breaking activity on Muskegon Lake

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 16:42

 

 

MILWAUKEE – The Coast Guard is alerting the general public of commercial shipping and ice breaking activity that will take place on Muskegon Lake, Jan. 11, through Jan 15, 2017.   

Several vessels are expected to transit the channel in and out of Muskegon at various times throughout the weekend. Ice breaking in support of these vessel movements will also take place.

Recreational users of the ice should plan their activity carefully, use caution near the ice, and stay away from shipping channels and the charted Lake Carriers Association (LCA) track lines.

The Coast Guard recommends all recreational ice users plan their activities carefully, dress appropriately, use caution on the ice, and stay away from shipping channels.

Further inquiries may be made by phone to Sault Vessel Traffic Service at (906) 635-3232 or via email at SOOTFC@USCG.MIL

 

 

 

Coast Guard rescues seven boaters 14 miles west of Anse-Rouge, Haiti

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 12:06

Editor's note: click image for full video

MIAMI — A Coast Guard helicopter crew hoisted seven boaters from a disabled sailing vessel Monday approximately 14 miles west of Anse-Rouge, Haiti.

Watchstanders with the Coast Guard 7th District command center received a request for assistance from the Haitian Coast Guard at 3 p.m. Monday for the sailing vessel Journey which was disabled and adrift with seven people aboard. The watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew forward deployed to Great Inagua, Bahamas. The helicopter crew arrived on scene and safely hoisted all seven boaters who were transferred ashore in Great Inagua.

For breaking news follow us on Twitter @USCGSoutheast

Woods Hole resident retires after 30 years of dedicated military, civilian service

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 11:33

BOSTON —  Family, friends, and shipmates at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England wished fair winds and following seas to an exemplary community member Thursday during a retirement ceremony in Woods Hole.

Jack Cowley retired after 30 years of devoted service to his community and country.

Cowley enlisted in the United States Marine Corps at age 17 and served from 1941 to 1947.  During that time, he was stationed all over the world, including the Pacific Theatre during World War II and at the Battle of Guadalcanal. 

Upon leaving the Marine Corps, Cowley worked for 37 years as a K-9 police officer in Wrentham.

Cowley then joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1986, and conducted patrols for Group Woods Hole/Sector Southeastern New England in his boat, Spindrift, until 2006. 

Cowley also served as an instructor for new Auxiliary crew and coxswains, patiently training new members to proficiently perform their duties.  In 1992, Cowley took on the additional responsibility of administering patrol orders for Auxiliary facilities throughout Cape Cod, as well as processing subsequent claims for reimbursement. 

In addition to his work on Spindrift and administering orders for Auxiliary members, Cowley has led and observed morning colors in Woods Hole for the last 20 years.

In 2016, he was presented the Americanism Award by the Department of Connecticut American Legion for his work in the local community. Some of his work included fostering patriotism among school-aged children who he recited the Pledge of Allegiance with before presenting them their own American Flags.

After the ceremony, Cowley was joined for breakfast by Lance Cpl. Lucas Mariano from the 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, Bravo Company, currently serving at the U.S. Marine Corps recruiting office in Hyannis.

Coast Guard sets ice condition three for Maryland-National Capital region

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 08:53

BALTIMORE — The Captain of the Port Maryland National-Capital Region set ice condition three Monday and cautions mariners to be aware of ice formation within the Sector Maryland-NCR COTP zone.

Ice condition three is set when weather conditions are favorable for the formation of ice in navigable waters.

Within the Sector Maryland-NCR COTP zone, navigable waters typically affected by early ice formation include the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, upper Chesapeake Bay and upper Potomac River.

All masters, ship agents, and owners and operators of all vessels, marine facilities and marinas are encouraged to report observed ice conditions by calling 410-576-2693 or by emailing D05-SMB-SECMD-NCR-SCC@uscg.mil.

Additionally, mariners should review and prepare for the seasonal ice procedures below:

• When ice is present and navigational restrictions are imposed by the COTP, vessels must have the proper hull type and an adequate propulsion system meeting the minimum horsepower requirements to be able to maneuver unassisted through the ice without needing to stop, back off and ram the ice.

• When ice is present in the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, navigational restrictions will be coordinated with COTP Delaware Bay and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Canal Project based on the shared jurisdiction of the waterway.

• Vessel moorings should be checked frequently to ensure the vessel is secured.

• Vessels at anchor should maintain their engines on standby at all times.

• Vessels at anchor should ensure proper bridge watches are stood at all times.

• Vessel sea chests should be checked regularly for ice buildup and precautions should be taken to ensure the sea chests are kept clear.

COTP Maryland-NCR may establish additional requirements for specific geographical areas of the COTP zone if conditions warrant such restrictions. During a typical winter in the region the COTP may change the ice condition several times depending on weather and waterway conditions. The status and extent of these restrictions are continuously evaluated, as ice condition reports are received and assessed.

Ice related vessel and/or waterway restrictions are announced via Coast Guard broadcast notices to mariners, five times daily at 3 a.m., 7:05 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. local time on marine band radio VHF-FM channel 22A.

The status for local waterways can also be found by calling the Sector Maryland-NCR ice line at 410-576-2682.

UPDATE: COAST GUARD RESPONDS TO VESSEL TAKING ON WATER

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 08:50

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard safely escorted a vessel to shore that was taking on water approximately 50 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, Tuesday.

A Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Morgan City 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew oversaw the safe return of an 85-foot fishing vessel with three people aboard to Lynn Drydock in Amelia, Louisiana, at 8:09 a.m. 

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report Monday at 1:58 a.m. of the fishing vessel taking on water approximately 50 miles south of Grand Isle.

Watchstanders directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Grand Isle, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama.

 

Coast Guard urges caution during dangerous high surf conditions and rip currents in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 04:20

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Coast Guard advises caution at beaches in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands due to incoming dangerous high surf and rip currents in the area.

There are National Weather Service High Surf and Small Craft Advisories in effect for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands through Thursday morning.  Small craft operators should exercise caution across the local waters due to northeast winds up to 20 knots and occasional seas up to 10 feet.   The surf height and breaking waves are expected to reach 12 feet to 14 feet along with a high risk of rip currents in the area.

The Coast Guard’s primary concern is the safety of persons engaged in water activities, especially local citizens or visitors to the region who may be unfamiliar with the hidden dangers of unmarked or open sea beaches.

Beachgoers are advised to use extreme caution when walking near the water.  The Coast Guard recommends that during this period of high surf, beachgoers remain well clear of the beach and shore where waves make landfall. Large waves and strong rip currents will also increase the risk of ocean drowning. Sneaker waves can suddenly wash people off of beaches, rocks or jetties and capsize small boats near shore. Large shore break can lead to injury and wave run-up.

The Coast Guard Rescue Sub-Center contact number to report a distress or rescue situation in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands is 787-289-2041, while VHF Channel 16 is the international distress frequency to report maritime emergencies.

The National Weather Service advisories can be found at http://www.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=sju&wwa=all

A rip current is a powerful channel of water that flows quickly away from shore. They often occur at low spots or breaks in the sandbar. Any object or person caught in a rip current can be pulled out into deeper seas.

If you become caught in a rip current, do not panic. The way to escape a rip current is to swim parallel to the shore. Once you are away from the force of the rip current, begin to swim back to the beach. Do not attempt to swim directly against the current, as you can become easily exhausted, even if you are a strong swimmer.

The Coast Guard urges mariners to always:

  • Wear life jackets while on the water.
  • Always have a working marine radio on board.
  • Carry marine flares on board the vessel.
  • Ensure bilge pumps area operational and vessels are secure for heavy winds and rains
  • Stay informed -The public should be aware of weather conditions and monitor progress through local television, radio and internet.  Check the current and expected weather and water conditions before heading out, and be aware the weather conditions change quickly.
  • File a float plan with friends, family members and local marinas before heading out.  The list should include the number of passengers aboard the vessel, vessel’s destination and expected time of return.
  • For more information visit http://www.uscgboating.org

UPDATE: Coast Guard responds to vessel taking on water

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 15:55

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard continues to respond to a vessel that was taking on water approximately 50 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, Monday.

At approximately 4:09 p.m. the crew of the fishing vessel reported that they had plugged the hole that caused the flooding.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Sturgeon from Grand Isle arrived on scene at approximately 1p.m. and is monitoring the vessel as it navigates back to shore.

Imagery available: U.S. Coast Guard, Mauritius partner to improve port security

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 13:33
Editors Note: To view or download imagery, please click on the image below to access the larger file.

Imagery available: U.S. Coast Guard, Seychelles partner to improve port security

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 13:33
Editors Note: To view or download imagery, please click on the image below to access the larger file.

UPDATE: Coast Guard responds to oil platform fire in the Gulf of Mexico

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 10:41

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard is no longer responding to the site of an oil production platform fire in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 80 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, Monday.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reported that there were no hotspots or major pollution threats aboard the platform.

Over flights were conducted on January 9 with no reports of sheening on the water.

The cause of the incident is under investigation by BSEE.

Coast Guard responds to vessel taking on water

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 05:14

NEW ORLEANS – The Coast Guard is responding to a vessel taking on water approximately 50 miles south of Grand Isle, Louisiana, Monday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at 1:58 a.m. of an 85-foot fishing vessel with three people aboard taking on water approximately 50 miles south of Grand Isle.

Watchstanders at Sector New Orleans directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Grand Isle, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama.

The helicopter aircrew arrived on scene at 3:36 a.m. and lowered a de-watering pump and a rescue swimmer. The 45-foot response boat transferred coast guard personnel and pumps to the vessel.

The HC-144 Ocean Sentry crew, the 45 foot response boat, and the offshore supply vessel Joanne Morrison are currently on scene.

Coast Guard assists 6 aboard disabled fishing vessel off Long Beach, Wash.

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 14:40

WARRENTON, Ore. — The Coast Guard assisted the commercial fishing vessel Tracer safely back to shore after the crew of the vessel reported taking on water approximately 4 miles offshore of Long Beach, Washington, Sunday afternoon.

The crew of the Tracer was uninjured and the vessel was safely moored in the Port of Ilwaco, Washington.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Columbia River Command Center received  a mayday call via satellite phone at 11:35 a.m. The original report was a loss of engine power and taking on water with six people on board.  

An aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was diverted to assist but was unable to communicate with the Tracer's crew, so they passed a radio to the crew. The aircrew remained on scene until a crew aboard a 47-foot motor life boat from Station Cape Disappointment arrived on scene.  The MLB's crew delivered a dewatering pump and assisted the Tracer in regaining engine power and then helped the crew control the flooding.  The vessel's crew started back toward Ilwaco with a precautionary escort from the MLB crew once it was safe to transit..

The sea conditions encountered on scene were 5-foot swells and 30 MPH winds.

Coast Guard rescues six people from grounded vessels

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 13:37

NEW ORLEANS -- The Coast Guard rescued six people from grounded vessels in Atchafalaya Bay, Louisiana, Saturday.

At 2:35 p.m. watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report from a private helicopter of a 17-foot johnboat with three people on board that was taking on water in the Atchafalaya Bay, Louisiana.

Watchstanders directed the launch of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans to assist the people.

The mariners reported that their de-watering pump was keeping up with the flooding and requested a tow, and one member requested to be removed.

The aircrew arrived on scene at 3:46 p.m. and provided the boat with a radio, blankets and transported one person to Berwick Boat Landing in Berwick, Louisiana, then refueled in Patterson, Louisiana.

Watchstanders at Sector New Orleans were notified at 6:54 p.m. that the johnboat had become grounded.

Members from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also responded to assist the distressed boaters. They were unable to assist the boaters due to the depth of water.

Two Good Samaritan vessels attempted to assist the johnboat and became grounded.

Watchstanders at Sector New Orleans directed the re-launch of an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and aircrew from Air Station New Orleans to assist all the grounded vessels at 8:52 p.m.

The aircrew arrived on scene at approximately 9:30 p.m. and hoisted a total of six people from the grounded vessels in multiple round trips and delivered them to Harry P. Williams Memorial Airport in Patterson to be assessed by emergency medical services.

Imagery available: Coast Guard seeking public's help to locate owner of paddle board off Maui

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 10:28

 

(Photos courtesy fishing vessel Strike Zone crew/Released)

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard is seeking the public's help identifying the owner of a 12-foot, white paddle board with yellow and red markings found approximately two miles offshore Ulua Beach Park, Maui, Sunday. 

Anyone with information that may help identify the owner of the paddle board is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

At 8 a.m. watchstanders at Sector Honolulu Command Center received a report from the master of the fishing vessel Strike Zone stating they found the paddle board adrift. 

There are currently no reported signs of distress or missing persons in the area.

"The Coast Guard strongly encourages owners to label their gear with a name and contact information. Also, if the gear is lost, report it to the Coast Guard with a good description so that we can eliminate any unnecessary searches," said Lt. Nicholas Spence, a search and rescue coordinator at the Sector Honolulu command center.

The Coast Guard offers free "If Found" decals to be placed in a visible location on small, human-powered watercraft through the Operation Paddle Smart program.  The information on the sticker can allow response entities to quickly identify the vessel's owner and aid search and rescue planners in determining the best course of action.

The stickers can be obtained for free at local harbormasters, through the Coast Guard Auxiliary, from Honolulu Sail and Power Squadron offices and at select marine retail and supply stores.

Coast Guard fully reopens Port of Virginia

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 07:37

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — After evaluating the port conditions following the passage of Winter Storm Helena, the Captain of the Port (COTP) has fully reopened the Port of Virginia. 

“The port is back open without restrictions,” said Lt. Ian King of Sector Hampton Roads' Prevention Department. “However, we urge mariners to be cautious of and to report any hazards to navigation following the storm.“ 

Please report any hazards to navigation or aid discrepancies to the Sector Hampton Roads Command Center at (757)668-6635.

VIDEO AVAILABLE: Coast Guard rescues 2 off john boat in Salem, NJ

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 07:33
Click image for video

PHILADELPHIA — The Coast Guard rescued two men from a john boat approximately 4 miles north of Salem, New Jersey today.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay were notified at approximately 11:35 p.m. Saturday from a Salem 911 dispatcher that a 16-foot john boat had become disabled near Salem, New Jersey. 

Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter air crew at approximately 1:35 a.m. to assist. The air crew arrived on scene at approximately 2:00 a.m. and hoisted the men. The two men were transferred to New Castle Airport in New Castle, Delaware.

There were no injuries or pollution reported. 

"Thankfully the two men were wearing the proper personal protective equipment and were able to contact 911 by using their cell phone,” said Lt. Nate Gruver, the pilot on the case. "Also, the Delaware State Police and our partner agencies played an integral role in locating the two men. There was great coordination from all parties involved"

For breaking news, follow the 5th District on Twitter @USCGMidAtlantic.

Coast Guard rescues 2 after boat takes on water west of Hudson Beach

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 06:17

Editor's note: Click on photo for link to high resolution version

SAND KEY, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued two people Friday after a 19-foot boat took on water 12 miles west of Hudson Beach.

Sector St. Petersburg watch standers were notified at 3:15 p.m. from a 911 transfer call from Pasco County Sheriff's Office. 

A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Sand Key and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched. The RB-M boat crew arrived on scene, embarked the two people and transferred them to a Pasco County Sheriff's Office marine unit. 

No injuries were reported.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also responded. 

"We want to remind boaters to check weather reports and listen to Coast Guard weather broadcasts before going out on the water," said Petty Officer 1st Class Philip Lengyel, an operations specialist at Sector St. Petersburg. "Thankfully, these people had all the right safety equipment and prevented the situation from worsening."

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