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USCG Newsfeed

Recent Updates for U.S. Coast Guard Digital Newsroom

Coast Guard medevacs Filipino crewmember from tanker near Southwest Pass  Follow link

December 21, 2014 8:01 pm

EDITORS NOTE: Please click on the image below to view high resolution video.

Coast Guard warns of adverse Bay Area weather  Follow link

December 20, 2014 8:13 pm

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard advises the public to exercise caution when on and around the water, as a combination of high seas and king tides are expected throughout Central and Northern California through mid-week.

A strong storm system that originated in the Gulf of Alaska has brought a long period northwest swell to the Central and Northern California coastline. That combined with the expected king tides, which will begin on Sunday and run through Tuesday, will create extremely hazardous conditions on local beaches. The high tide begins around 9:30 a.m., Sunday, and is predicted to reach almost seven feet.

The Coast Guard encourages all marinas, vessel owners, operators and the public who live along the water to prepare for the possibility of flooding. Boat owners are advised to check the status of mooring and anchoring arrangements. The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood advisory that will remain from 9 a.m. Sunday to 8 p.m. Monday.

"We strongly urge the public to exercise extreme caution when visiting local beaches during the winter months." said Capt. Greg Stump, commander, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. "Boat owners should be vigilant about ensuring the safety of their vessels, as the extreme tidal current flow brought on by the king tides can compromise mooring arrangements."

The Coast Guard recommends the public keep advised of weather changes through the National Weather Service, and to monitor channel 16 VHF-FM for the most current safety advisories.

Coast Guard rescues stranded hunter near Juneau, Alaska  Follow link

December 20, 2014 8:41 am

KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued a stranded hunter from Chicagof Island near Juneau, Alaska, Friday evening.

An Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the hunter and transferred him to Hoonah, Alaska.

Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received a report of a hunter in distress after he became separated from his hunting party on Chicagof Island. Sector Juneau watchstanders launched the helicopter crew to rescue the hunter.

“The hunter was able to keep communication with his hunting party with a handheld radio,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Georgette Lopez, watchstander, Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “The radio provided us with a GPS location that aided us in quickly locating him during night hours.”

The weather on scene was reported as 32 degrees with moderate rain.

S.O.S. written on Hawaii beach prompts rescue  Follow link

December 20, 2014 5:11 am

Imagery available

Coast Guard delivers 314 presents to local children  Follow link

December 20, 2014 5:00 am

Photos available

Coast Guard, Navy interdict, seize $331 million of cocaine (photos, video available)  Follow link

December 19, 2014 6:17 pm

Cocaine offload video

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SAN DIEGO — More than eight and half tons of cocaine seized or recovered in fourteen interdictions in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean were offloaded from the USS Vandergrift (FFG 48) Friday and turned over to federal officials as evidence in the prosecution of suspected smugglers.

Another two tons of contraband seized in five additional cases in the Eastern Pacific region were brought ashore in Florida Thursday by Coast Guard cutters.

All of the contraband, worth an estimated $331-million, was intercepted between mid-September and early December by U.S. Coast Guard law-enforcement teams operating from U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy ships patrolling off the coast of Central and South America.

"Every load of cocaine stopped at sea represents lives saved here at home, and resources denied to the trans-national criminal organizations behind the smuggling," said Rear Admiral Joseph Servidio, Commander of the 11th Coast Guard District. "I am inspired by the dedication, tenacity, and perseverance of our Coast Guard, Navy, and partner agency crews who risk their lives to curtail the flow of illegal drugs and help keep our nation secure. Their hard work coupled with cooperation and assistance of partner nations in the region led to results we can measure in tons, as well as arrests that will degrade drug trafficking networks, and serves as a model for future success," he said.

Of the cocaine offloaded in San Diego, Vandergrift and their Coast Guard law enforcement detachment were responsible for intercepting six loads from suspicious vessels or drifting at sea. The USS Gary (FFG 51) and their Coast Guard team accounted for four loads, the Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell had two, and the cutters Sherman and Alert each had one.

Of the cocaine loads taken to Florida, the Coast Guard Cutter Legare seized one, and Vandergrift and Gary each intercepted two.

The busts are a result of an ongoing effort dubbed Operation Martillo, a joint, international law enforcement and military operation involving the U.S., European and Western Hemisphere partner nations, targeting illicit-trafficking routes in the waters off Central America.

Overall coordination of counter-drug patrols and surveillance in the Eastern Pacific is done by a joint agency task force headquartered in Key West, Florida. U.S. maritime law enforcement and the interdiction phase of operations in the region occur under the tactical control of the 11th Coast Guard District headquartered in Alameda, California.

Vandergrift's accomplishments occurred during her last operational deployment adding a notable chapter to the ship's history. "I am extremely proud of this ship and this crew," said Cmdr. Kevin Ralston, Vandegrift's commanding officer. "USS Vandegrift's superior performance and exceptional operational success during this seven month deployment were nothing short of outstanding. The ship's crew, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 Air Detachment Three, and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments have proven themselves to be a highly effective and mission focused team. This team closed out Vandegrift's operational life in a manner which our ship's namesake and all former crew members would be proud," he said.

Lifesaving gift ideas for boaters  Follow link

December 19, 2014 2:02 pm

For a holiday video message, please click the above photo.

Need gift ideas for your favorite boater? Give the gift of life - here are a few ideas that may end up ensuring your boater is around for the holidays next year.

First on your list should be a comfortable Coast Guard approved life jacket designed for the intended use of the boater on your list. You may have heard that specific Type classifications previously used to describe the performance characteristics of life jackets have been eliminated. What you need to know is that all life jackets should be Coast Guard approved and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s design. That means all the snaps snapped, zippers zipped and buckles buckled! The relatively new inflatable models come in a variety of styles, sizes, colors and design that are appropriate for almost any type of boating. The Coast Guard continues to recommend a comfortable inherently buoyant life jacket for small boat (less than 26’) sailors as well as paddlers in canoes and kayaks. However a fanny-pack type inflatable worn around the waist still allows for ample movement while on stand-up paddle boards and are readily available when worn if needed in the water.

In far too many situations, the release of carbon monoxide from engines and various types of heaters can result in the death or serious injury of those trying to stay warm during the colder winter months. Far too many people have died from carbon monoxide-related watercraft incidents. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is formed by incomplete combustion of any fuel, including gasoline, kerosene, wood, coal, oil, natural gas or charcoal. Sources on a boat include gasoline engines, generators, cooking ranges and space heaters. "Carbon monoxide is a silent killer because it is an odorless, colorless gas," said Coast Guard Boating Safety Program Manager Ed Huntsman. "All boat engines produce carbon monoxide and boaters across the country are killed every year because of improper cabin ventilation, poorly maintained equipment and careless behavior." Dangerous or deadly fumes can accumulate in confined spaces on boats, near stern ladders and under swimming platforms. Swimmers and water-skiers behind running boat engines face the greatest risk of exposure to exhaust fumes, which can build up to deadly levels. Boats emit up to 188 times the carbon monoxide that cars do. So next on the gift list is a battery-powered carbon monoxide detector.

You can’t go wrong with giving a quality marine band VHF radio. Available in hand-held or permanently mounted models, submersible and yes, even water proof, a VHF radio allows a boater to communicate with others – including the towing company, local enforcement officers and the Coast Guard in the event help is needed. Easy to use, inexpensive and readily available, a marine band radio is far superior to a cell phone in an emergency because if the user is lost, or not really aware of their exact location, it can take up to three hours to locate a cell phone – and that’s assuming it’s within the range of the nearest cell tower.

Another great gift for a boater, especially an off-shore fisherman, is a personal locator beacon. Known widely as a PLB or EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon), many lives have been saved with this well established and relatively inexpensive technology.

“Let’s face it” said Huntsman, “Nobody gets up in the morning for a great day out on the water and says ‘I think I’m going to go out fishing or paddling and see what I can do to put myself in a serious life threatening situation so I can get on the news tonight!’ But hardly a week goes by that we don’t see a news report involving a serious boating related accident.”

Give a gift that can save a life. Then make them promise to use it!

Boating Class

America's Boating Course: One of the best ways to have a fun boating experience is to "know before you go". If you are a new boater or an experienced boater in need of a refresher course, consider taking a boating course.

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