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Recent Updates for U.S. Coast Guard Digital Newsroom

Coast Guard to establish security, no wake zones during Rose Festival in Portland, Ore.  Follow link

June 1, 2015 6:48 pm

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Coast Guard 13th District commander, working in conjunction with the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River captain of the port, has established temporary security and no wake zones along the Willamette River during the Portland Rose Festival Fleet Week from Wednesday through June 8.

The zones are necessary to allow maximum use of the waterway by all users consistent with safe navigation.

A security and no wake zone will be established between the Hawthorne and Steel Bridges while Coast Guard, Navy and Canadian Royal Navy vessels are in the area for the festival.

Persons desiring to transit the security zone must first obtain authorization from the COTP or his designated representative. To seek permission to transit the area, call 503-277-0989 for the Rose Festival Fleet Week Command Post in downtown Portland, or use marine-band radio via VHF-FM channel 16. Vessels already at berth, mooring or anchor at the time the security zone is implemented are not required to depart the security zone.

"We have coordinated closely with our inter-agency and port partners to minimize the impact of the security zone," said Capt. Dan Travers, commander, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River and captain of the port. "We do this while still meeting security requirements for Rose Festival’s Fleet Week."

The signed temporary final rule establishing the safety zones is published in the Federal Register at and will be searchable using key words security zone + Portland Rose Festival. It can take up to three days from the date submitted for items to become searchable.

Response continues on ship grounding off Port Arthur, Texas  Follow link

June 1, 2015 4:21 pm

PORT ARTHUR, Texas – The Coast Guard continues to work with state and local partners Monday to oversee freeing a bulk carrier loaded with sulfur that ran aground May 26, while transiting outbound from Neches Industrial Park.

Responders determined the ship would need to be lightered in order to refloat it. The owners continue to coordinate with local partners to get the resources on scene as weather permits. Once the resources are in place they will begin lightering the ship, or off-loading cargo, to make it easier to refloat.

Once the vessel is free, an underwater survey will be conducted to verify no damage to the hull.

"The vessel is stable and remains outside of the channel, approximately 1 mile from buoys 33 and 34," said Cmdr. Randy Jenkins, the operations section chief in the incident command. "There is currently no danger to vessel traffic as the vessel remains aground outside the channel. Operations continue to progress in accordance with the salvage plan in place."

There are still no reports of damage or pollution discharge. The Coast Guard continues to investigate the incident.

Coast Guard suspends search for 17-year-old swimmer  Follow link

June 1, 2015 2:39 pm

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — The Coast Guard suspended its search for a 17-year-old swimmer at 10:23 a.m., Monday in New Smyrna Beach, pending any new developments.

Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Command Center watchstanders were notified of the situation Sunday at 5 p.m., by Coast Guard Station Ponce de Leon Inlet, who was notified by 911 relay. The report stated a 17-year-old male was seen going underwater while swimming and not resurfacing.

Crewmembers aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater were launched to search Monday morning at first light.

Crewmembers aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from station Ponce de Leon Inlet, as well as a crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Savannah, Georgia, were launched to search. An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast was also initiated to notify boaters in the area.

Also assisting in the search were crews from Volusia County Beach Patrol and members of the New Smyrna Beach Lifeguard Service.

"The decision to suspend a search and rescue case like this is never an easy one to make," said Capt. Thomas Allan, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. "I want to extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the young man. After searching with our partner agencies in Volusia County and New Smyrna Beach more than 100 miles by air and sea and finding no sign of the teen, I have made the decision to suspend the active search. Again, we offer our deepest condolences to the family during this difficult time.”

For more information contact the Coast Guard 7th District Public Affairs Detachment Jacksonville at 305-318-1864.

For breaking news follow us on Twitter @uscgsoutheast.

Inclement weekend weather source of numerous Great Lakes searches and rescues  Follow link

June 1, 2015 2:10 pm

Screenshot of Coast Guard smartphone app
The United States Coast Guard smartphone application allows boaters to quickly check weather conditions at the nearest weather buoy and includes a direct link to the National Weather Service website for detailed marine forecasts.

CLEVELAND — Boaters caught in inclement weather and unmarked watercraft breaking free and floating off shore across the Great Lakes region caused numerous Coast Guard searches and rescues during the weekend.

The Coast Guard encourages everyone, regardless of boating experience, ability or vessel type, to check current and forecast weather before heading out onto the water, and encourages owners of small vessels to properly secure their vessels when high winds and waves are approaching.

Boaters in Toledo, Ohio; Lorain, Ohio; and Sodus Bay, New York; got into trouble and needed assistance during bad weather Saturday.

A man and woman treaded water in Lake Erie near Toledo for about 45 minutes after the pair’s boat was swamped by high waves and sank. A good Samaritan pulled the couple out of the water before transferring them to a Coast Guard boat from Station Toledo, which took them to shore where they were treated at a local hospital for symptoms of hypothermia.

Near Lorain the operator of a 14-foot boat with two additional people aboard called the Coast Guard for help when severe thunderstorms caused visibility to significantly decrease and he was unable to transit safely to the nearest marina on his own. A boatcrew from Station Lorain launched and escorted the trio to Hot Waters Marina.

Near Sodus Bay a 22-foot sailboat lost its sail in a storm, the vessel had no engine or radio, the anchor wasn’t holding and the operator was exhausted from fighting the storm so a boatcrew from Station Sodus Point launched and towed the sailboat to Sodus Bay Marina.

A Coast Guard boatcrew from Station Toledo escorted a cabin cruiser with two people aboard to an Ottawa River marina. The pair contacted the Coast Guard for assistance when their anchor became fouled and stuck on the bottom off Turtle Island in Maumee Bay as severe weather was approaching. The operator eventually freed the anchor and began heading to shore before the Coast Guard boatcrew arrived on scene.

Following severe weather and high winds, Coast Guard crews frequently search after receiving reports of unmanned, drifting watercraft because it is usually unknown if the watercraft were occupied and people are in distress or if the vessels blew away from shore unoccupied.

Saturday Coast Guard boat and air crews searched Lake Michigan near Racine, Wisconsin, after someone reported a capsized kayak near Wind Point Lighthouse. Racine County Fire Department and Sheriffs were also involved, recovering the kayak and conducting door-to-door checks with residents in the area for two hours attempting to find an owner to determine if someone had been in the kayak or if it had blown away unoccupied. The search was eventually called off after responders saturated the area and confirmed there were no reports of missing people.

Also Saturday Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector Buffalo, New York, tracked down the owner of a 22-foot pontoon boat that was reported unmanned and drifting in North Sandy Pond, New York. The owner reported he watched the boat break free of its mooring and drift away.

Sunday boat and helicopter crews conducted two separate searches in Lake Erie after unmanned, drifting watercraft were reported. The first was a 12-foot kayak found capsized and drifting near South Bass Island, Ohio. The owner was located and confirmed the kayak was not in use recently and said it must have blown away. The other was a personal watercraft found adrift near Sheffield Lake boat launch in Sheffield Lake, Ohio. The owner was never located, but boat and air crews saturated the search area and confirmed there were no reports of missing people before calling off the search.

Sunday Coast Guard boat and air crews searched Lake Michigan near Arcadia, Michigan, after a cargo ship reported an inflatable raft floating 12 miles west of Arcadia. The search was called off after boat and helicopter crews saturated the area and found no signs of distress, and it was confirmed there were no reports of missing people in the area.

The Coast Guard released a new smartphone application in May which allows boaters and vessel owners to check weather conditions at the nearest weather buoy and includes a direct link to the National Weather Service website for detailed marine forecasts.

Four people on a 28-foot boat in the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin used a creative solution to call for help when their boat became disabled five miles from shore Saturday afternoon. Their boat became disabled due to electrical problems that rendered their marine radio unusable. Out of range to place a cell phone call, one of the people thought to remove the boat's battery and hook it up directly to the radio. There was enough energy remaining in the battery to place their distress call.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie Michigan responded to the call, issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of a boatcrew from Station Bayfield.

A good Samaritan responded to the broadcast and arrived at the scene, reporting all four people were safe and had no medical concerns. The good Samaritan was unable to take the vessel in tow but remained on scene until the Coast Guard crew arrived. The Coast Guard crew safely towed the disabled vessel to Red Cliff Marina.

Coast Guard Cutter Dependable arrives at new home port  Follow link

June 1, 2015 2:06 pm

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Coast Guard Cutter Dependable marked its official arrival at its new homeport at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia Beach, Saturday.

Dependable is the second of two Medium Endurance Cutters from Cape May, New Jersey to be relocated to Little Creek. The Vigorous arrived in August 2014.

The addition of two Medium Endurance Cutters will significantly increase the Coast Guard’s operational presence in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

The decision to relocate Dependable was prompted by the deteriorating pier conditions at Cape May’s pier three.

Over the course of three years, the new Fast Response Cutters will bring approximately 90 new personnel to the Cape May community that will result in construction contracts for infrastructure upgrades over the next five years including shore-side support facilities and pier construction.

The Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter is a new Coast Guard patrol boat that is capable of deploying independently to conduct missions that include port, waterways and coastal security. Coast Guard cutters are sentinels of global trade by supporting the nation’s economic success ensuring waterways and the maritime environment are safe, secure and reliable.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Coast Guard to hold change-of-command ceremony for commander of Great Lakes region  Follow link

June 1, 2015 11:10 am

CLEVELAND — The Coast Guard is scheduled to hold a change-of-command ceremony for its 9th District, which spans the five Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway and parts of the surrounding states, at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center Wednesday afternoon.

Vice Adm. William "Dean" Lee, Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander, will preside over the ceremony to transfer command of the 9th District from Rear Adm. Fred Midgette to Rear Adm. June Ryan.

Media interested in attending should RSVP to the Coast Guard 9th District Public Affairs Office at 216-902-6020 prior to 12 p.m. Tuesday. The ceremony is expected to last approximately one hour. Midgette and Ryan will be available for brief media interviews immediately after the ceremony.

  • WHO: The Coast Guard 9th District
  • WHAT: Change-of-command ceremony for commander of the district
  • WHEN: 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, 2015
  • WHERE: Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center, 127 Public Square, Cleveland, OH 44114

Midgette assumed command of the 9th District in June 2013. Following the change-of-command ceremony, Midgette will report to Coast Guard Headquarters to fill the position of special flag assistant to the vice commandant.

Ryan reports to the 9th District from her position as the military advisor to the secretary of Homeland Security.

Headquartered in Cleveland, 9th District units are responsible for all Coast Guard operations throughout the five Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway and parts of the surrounding states including 6,700 miles of shoreline and 1,500 miles of the international border with Canada. The 6,000 active-duty, Reserve, civilian and Auxiliary men and women deliver multi-mission services in search and rescue, maritime safety and security, environmental protection, maritime law enforcement, aids to navigation, and icebreaking.

Coast Guard, local agencies suspend search for missing swimmer near West Haven, Connecticut  Follow link

June 1, 2015 8:50 am

NEW YORK – Coast Guard crews along with local agencies have suspended their search Sunday, for a missing swimmer near New Haven, Connecticut.
The search area was completely saturated using numerous surface assets from multiple agencies and a MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, but the search yielded negative results.
“The local agencies have equipment like side scan sonar and shallow draft vessels that are able to assist us with a case this close to a beach area,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Morgan Gallapis, an Operations Specialist at Coast Guard Long Island Sound Command Center. “We saturated the search area with air and surface assets but unfortunately, we were unable to locate a person in the water.”
In total, assets searched for approximately six hours, covering 42 square miles, before suspending the search at 10 p.m., Sunday.

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