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USCG Newsfeed

Recent Updates for U.S. Coast Guard Digital Newsroom

Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue boater from boat fire  Follow link

October 20, 2014 6:50 pm

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard assisted with the rescue of a boater Monday after the man's 33-foot sailboat caught fire five miles west of Windmill Point in the Chesapeake Bay.

Rescued was John Lee Brown Jr.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received a VHF-FM channel 16 broadcast from Brown at approximately 10:40 a.m., stating his sailboat was on fire. Watchstanders were unable to maintain communications with Brown after the initial broadcast.

A good Samaritan contacted the Coast Guard watchstanders and reported they had the burning sailboat in sight.

The watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium (RB-M) crew from Coast Guard Station Milford Haven to assist.

Before the Coast Guard assets arrived on scene, the good Samaritan assisted Brown off his sailboat.

The RB-M crew arrived on scene at approximately 11 a.m., transferred Brown from the good Samaritan's boat and took him back to Station Milford Haven.

Also on scene were boat crews from the Virginia Marine Resource Commission and Towboat US.

Sector watchstanders are currently broadcasting a safety marine information broadcast and working with Brown and a salvage company to remove the sailboat.

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UPDATE 4: Coast Guard restricting vessel traffic on Chicago River to allow for salvage of sunken barge  Follow link

October 20, 2014 5:42 pm

CLEVELAND — All cargo has been removed from the sunken barge in the Chicago River between the Lake and Randolph Street bridges and divers are currently in the water to conduct a survey of the barge's hull.

The barge has been secured so that a 50-foot clearance can allow for vessel traffic to transit.

Once the divers complete their survey, the company intends to formulate a salvage plan to either move the barge to another location or lift it out of the water.

Coast Guard assets are on scene to monitor vessel traffic while divers are in the water.

There are no Coast Guard images or videos available for this case.

Personnel from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago have coordinated waterways management controls over the Chicago River since the barge broke free from its mooring Friday afternoon and sank in the river.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, in Milwaukee, learned of the incident about 1:15 p.m., Friday. The barge was loaded with 750 yards of clay dirt. No injuries or pollution are reported.

Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan is broadcasting a notice to mariners over VHF-FM channel 16.

For more information, contact the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit duty officer at 630-336-0281.

Coast Guard medevacs injured fisherman near Sand Point, Alaska  Follow link

October 20, 2014 4:34 pm

KODIAK, Alaska — A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, forward deployed to Cold Bay, medevaced an injured fisherman from a fishing vessel 150 miles southeast of Sand Point, Alaska, Sunday evening.

The Jayhawk aircrew hoisted the injured crewmember from the fishing vessel Icy Mist and transported him to emergency medical personnel in Cold Bay.

Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders received a report from a crewmember aboard the Icy Mist stating a fisherman had been injured after a crab pot fell on him during loading operations and needed medical assistance. The duty flight surgeon recommended a medevac and the Jayhawk helicopter crew was dispatched to the scene.

Once the rescue crew arrived on scene, the injured fisherman was hoisted from the fishing vessel and transported to the Cold Bay clinic for further treatment. The injured fisherman was reported as stable and coherent upon arrival.

“This case was the first for our FOL Cold Bay aircrews this season and demonstrates the importance of our seasonal deployments,” said Lt. j.g. Joey Schlosser, command duty officer, Coast Guard 17th District. “Forward operating locations enables us to reduce emergency response times and allows us to transport mariners in distress to medical care as quickly as possible.”

Weather on scene was reported as 7 mph winds and 6-foot seas.

Coast Guard reopens Port Allen in wake of Hurricane Ana  Follow link

October 20, 2014 4:08 pm

HONOLULU — The Coast Guard Captain of the Port reopened Port Allen in Kauai Monday morning after surveying crews deemed it safe for transit.

The maritime public is advised to be vigilant when entering ports and harbors and to cooperate with the direction of the Coast Guard and local harbor masters.

Mariners seeking additional information on port and harbor openings should contact Sector Honolulu at (808) 842-2600 or monitor VHF Channel 16 or the Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division at

Media with questions should contact the 14th Coast Guard District public affairs office at (808) 535-3230.

Coast Guard rescues 2 fishermen from capsized vessel off St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands  Follow link

October 20, 2014 3:53 pm

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Coast Guard boat crew rescued two fishermen Monday, after their 21-foot Boston Whaler capsized, approximately seven nautical miles northeast of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Rescued are Juan Reyes Serrano, 49, and Benigo Rodríguez, 27, U.S. citizens from Puerto Rico residents of St. Croix, who reportedly departed Monday morning from St. Croix on a fishing trip to the vicinity of Lang Bank, when their boat began taking on water and capsized at approximately 1:20p.m.

Coast Guard Boat Forces personnel in St. Croix received a report from local police, who relayed a cell phone communication from one of the fishermen who was able to contact his wife and report the distress.

A Coast Guard boat crew aboard a 29-foot Response Boat Small II immediately got underway to search for the distressed fishermen. Upon arriving on scene, the Coast Guard boat crew located Serrano and Rodríguez clinging on to the capsized vessel and proceeded to safely recover them from the water.

The two fishermen were transported by the Coast Guard boat crew to Altoona Lagoon in Christiansted, St. Croix, where they were released to awaiting family members.

Coast Guard completes international assist, disabled vessel safely moored  Follow link

October 20, 2014 3:52 pm

JUNEAU, Alaska — Coast Guard assets and personnel assisting the Canadian coast guard returned to their units after the disabled vessel, Simushir, was safely towed by commercial tugboats to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Monday.

“The trusted partnership we have with our Canadian counterparts continues to be a vital component to protecting lives at sea and mitigating potential maritime emergencies,” said Rear Adm. Dan Abel, commander, Coast Guard 17th District. “We are pleased this case ended with a positive outcome; preparing for the worst case scenario is the first step in an effective prevention and response plan.”

Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders in Juneau received a request for assistance on Friday from the Rescue Coordination Center in Victoria, who reported the Simushir had lost propulsion while transiting from Port Angeles, Wash., to Russia, and was at risk of running aground on the Queen Charlotte Islands with 11 crewmembers and approximately 168,000 gallons of fuel.

The Coast Guard forward deployed an Air Station Sitka Jayhawk helicopter crew Friday and an Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules crew with a State of Alaska Emergency Towing System on Saturday to the town of Sandspit on Moresby Island to provide search and rescue assistance to Canadian coast guard crews. The 17th District also stood up their incident management team to direct Coast Guard assets and personnel support. Coast Guard Sector Juneau deployed six members, including the sector’s commander, to Ketchikan to establish the foundation for a unified command and to exercise their sub-area contingency plan with state and local partners.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, a 225-foot seagoing bouy tender homeported in Kodiak, was diverted Friday to the Simushir’s location with a State of Alaska Emergency Towing System onboard and arrived Saturday. The SPAR stayed on scene and kept in close communication with the Canadian coast guard vessels and the commercial tugboat, Barbara Foss.

The Barbara Foss took the Simushir into tow Saturday and safely transited to Brown Passage, where two other tugboats took over and brought the freight vessel into Prince Rupert.

“Assistance provided by the U.S. Coast Guard in the form of the USCGC SPAR and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter at the ready in Sandspit, B.C. highlights the ongoing support that the U.S. and Canada provide to each other,” said The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “And for that I would like to extend my appreciation.”

Training Day: Air Station Savannah  Follow link

October 20, 2014 1:51 pm

Air Station Savannah wet drills Air Station Savannah wet drills

Editor's note: for high resolution images, click the thumbnails above.

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard have, throughout the service’s history, defined the meaning of our motto “Semper Paratus” through their bravery and perseverance. Semper Paratus, Latin for “always ready”, is fitting for the service whose members always respond to calls for help.

One main tenant of being “always ready” involves preparation. One must be fit, well educated and well trained to respond to any calls that may come in. In order to maintain readiness, aircrew members, as well as other personnel at Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Georgia, recently completed a series of survival training exercises, known as wet drills.

The wet drills conducted by Air Station Savannah involve practicing the use of Coast Guard survival equipment. One portion of the training involved an instructional session on the use of visual distress signals. Groups of eight members each went to several Coast Guard stations to practice how to use various signals including flares and signal smoke.

The participants involved in the training were given instruction on the proper use of flares, smoke signals and signal mirrors. They also donned flight suits with emergency flotation vests and practiced swimming 100 yards to a raft. Once members got to the raft, they were given the task to right it, locate survival equipment held in compartments aboard the raft and discuss survival best practices. To maximize the effect, the training was conducted on the north coast of Tybee Island.

“This training is crucial to our aircrews' safety, and the fact that we were able to hold this year's event in the ocean off of Tybee Island added a level of realism that we simply cannot replicate in a pool or a lake,” said Cmdr. John Rivers, the commanding officer of Air Station Savannah.

One of the other reasons for holding the training in a real-world environment was to have the “Coasties” experience what it is like to be in a survival situation. Despite the Coast Guard’s reputation for rescuing survivors and reuniting them with loved ones, accidents can occur during a mission. Coast Guard aircraft and boats are vulnerable and can malfunction, possibly placing crewmembers in need of rescue.

“Not only is it important for us to be ready, should we find ourselves in a survival situation, but it also helps us understand exactly what the individuals for whom we’re searching might be going through,” said Lt. j.g. Alex Johns, a pilot with the Air Station Savannah.

Equipment and great manpower are not enough in the world of maritime rescue. Education, training and practice are what help build a military unit into an effective force. Coast Guardsmen throughout the nation train every day in all mission areas in order to provide the American public exceptional service, exemplifying their famous motto: Semper Paratus.


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