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Recent Updates for U.S. Coast Guard Digital Newsroom


Coast Guard responds to vessel aground in Pacifica  Follow link

October 31, 2014 11:52 pm

SAN FRANCISCO - Coast Guard crews are responding to a fishing vessel stranded in Shelter Cove, Friday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center received a call at approximately 11:19 a.m. from the operator of the adrift 28-foot fishing vessel Giaconda.

The Giaconda, with two persons aboard, reportedly ran out of fuel, causing the vessel to drift into Shelter Cove.

San Mateo County Sheriffs, Pacifica Police and Pacifica Fire Department were notified as well as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. All persons on the vessel safely came ashore. Due to the shallow cove and limited shoreside access, the vessel remains stranded in Shelter Cove.

Coast Guard crews are currently working with the vessel owners and pollution response and salvage contractors to assess any potential for pollution and to have the vessel removed from the area.

Coast Guard Sector San Francisco pollution responders are on scene and have accessed the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. An Oil Spill Removal Organization has been hired to conduct a pollution threat assessment and to remove any oil or remaining fuel product from the vessel's reportedly empty fuel tanks. Currently approximately nine gallons of motor oil from spare containers and affected sand have been recovered.

Federal authorities allow the Coast Guard to respond to mariners in distress as well as respond to the pollution potential posed by adrift and stricken vessels. The vessel owner is ultimately responsible for mitigating any potential damage to the marine environment posed by the vessel and for the vessel's timely removal.

In the case of abandoned vessels, state and local agencies provide valuable assistance in the salvage and timely removal of vessels and marine debris, where their authorities allow. The State of California has programs established through the Department of Boating and Waterways to facilitate the removal of abandoned vessels from the marine environment.



Coast Guard responds to Halloween attraction battered by high winds, heavy waves at Chicago's Navy Pier  Follow link

October 31, 2014 10:40 pm

A 132-foot barge with containers being used as a Halloween attraction at Chicago's Navy Pier is battered by strong winds and heavy waves Oct. 31, 2014. Several of the containers were either partially or completely submerged after the barge broke from its mooring. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Laura Gould.)

A 132-foot barge with containers being used as a Halloween attraction at Chicago's Navy Pier is battered by strong winds and heavy waves Oct. 31, 2014. Several of the containers are either partially or completely submerged after the barge broke from its mooring. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Laura Gould.)

CHICAGO — First responders from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago responded to a barge that was taking on water on the north side of Navy Pier Friday afternoon.

Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan in Milwaukee received the initial report from the Chicago Police Department stating that the 132-foot barge, which was stacked with containers and being used as a Halloween attraction by Navy Pier, was taking on water.

When the responders from the Coast Guard arrived on scene, they reported that the barge had broken free of its mooring and was being pushed against the north side of the pier by the strong winds and heavy waves. Several of the stacked containers had fallen from the barge and were either completely or partially submerged.

No one was aboard the barge at the time of the incident. In addition, there are no reports of pollution.

The owner of the barge was notified and, once on scene, was able to secure the vessel and prevent it from drifting away.

The Coast Guard and representatives from Navy Pier and the barge company are monitoring the situation. The owner of the barge is expected to submit a salvage plan to the Coast Guard in the coming days.



Coast Guard, local agencies rescue injured man off Capers Island, S.C.  Follow link

October 31, 2014 9:02 pm

Coast Guard rescues injured man Coast Guard rescues injured man

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

BEAUFORT, S.C. — The Coast Guard, along with members of Fripp Island Marine Rescue Service, rescued an injured man Friday in the vicinity of Capers Island, South Carolina.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector Charleston command center were notified of the situation by Beaufort County Dispatch at 1:22 p.m. The report stated that a 78-year-old man suffered a severe hip injury while at a house on the isolated island. Due to the man’s location, local authorities requested Coast Guard assistance to reach him.

A Coast Guard flight surgeon was briefed and recommended the man be medically evacuated.

Watchstanders launched a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Georgia at 2:15 p.m. The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 3 p.m., and transported the injured man to Savannah Memorial Hospital.

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



Coast Guard completes Arctic Shield 2014  Follow link

October 31, 2014 7:58 pm

JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard concluded Arctic Shield 2014 on Friday after a successful season that included deployments of personnel and assets to the Seward Peninsula, Bering Strait and the Northern Alaska Continental Shelf to conduct a broad range of Coast Guard statutory missions.

Arctic Shield 2014 included deployments by Coast Guard cutters Stratton, Healy, SPAR, Alex Haley and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters deployed to a forward operating location in Barrow, tribal engagements and assistance, and a range of marine safety activities in many Arctic communities.

Arctic Shield efforts included a first-ever MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter deployment to the Stratton, a national security cutter, in the Arctic Ocean. The NSC can be deployed as a command and control platform that can conduct various missions to include maritime domain awareness, search and rescue, and law enforcement. The cutter is highly efficient, can be underway for longer periods of time, and is uniquely equipped to respond to threats and events in times of crisis.

The Arctic Shield team executed several challenging and high-visibility search and rescue cases, such as the dynamic rescue of the sailing vessel master aboard the Altan Girl beset in ice northeast of Barrow, and the medevac of a crewmember from the Korean polar research vessel Araon.

Operation Gold Nugget prevention and enforcement activities included 54 at-sea boardings and 36 safety inspections. The Coast Guard Research and Development Center tested pollution response capabilities and successfully celebrated the first landing of a UAV on a Coast Guard ice breaker. The Coast Guard National Ice Rescue School provided critical ice rescue training to the three largest Arctic communities. Prevention activities and outreach spanned 29 villages, training over 2800 children in Kids Don't Float programs and three mass rescue exercises.

"As maritime activity continues to increase in the arctic, so does our responsibility and commitment to protect those on the sea, to protect the United States from threats delivered by the sea, and to protect the sea itself," said Rear Adm. Dan Abel, commander, Coast Guard 17th District.

Arctic Shield engagements began in January 2014 and the objectives included:

  1. Seasonally perform select Coast Guard missions and activities in the Arctic.
  2. Advance Arctic maritime domain awareness through operations, intelligence and partnerships.
  3. Improve preparedness and response capabilities.
  4. Test capabilities and refine Arctic resource requirements.


Coast Guard spouse recognized for outstanding service  Follow link

October 31, 2014 7:57 pm

Photos available

PHOTOS: Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay hosts Ghost Ship  Follow link

October 31, 2014 7:38 pm

Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay 'Ghost Ship'

Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, homeported in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., sits eerily quiet waiting for guests to arrive to tour the Ghost Ship Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.

Mobile Bay's crew hosted the Ghost Ship tour to provide Halloween entertainment for the community and to collect non-perishable food donations for a local food bank.

U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay.

Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay 'Ghost Ship' Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay 'Ghost Ship'

Ensign Curtis Hayes and Ensign Oliver Cole, crew members aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, homeported in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., are ready to hand out candy in the ship's wardroom during the children's portion of the Ghost Ship Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.

Mobile Bay's crew hosted the Ghost Ship tour to provide Halloween entertainment for the community and to collect non-perishable food donations for a local food bank.

U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay.

Members of the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, homeported in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., take a break between tours during the cutter's Ghost Ship tour Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.

Mobile Bay's crew hosted the Ghost Ship tour to provide Halloween entertainment for the community and to collect non-perishable food donations for a local food bank.

U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay

Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay 'Ghost Ship' Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay 'Ghost Ship'

Crew family members hand out candy in the cargo hold of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, homeported in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., during the children's portion of Ghost Ship Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.

Mobile Bay's crew hosted the Ghost Ship tour to provide Halloween entertainment for the community and to collect non-perishable food donations for a local food bank.

U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay.

A visitor donates non-perishable food items before embarking the Ghost Ship, also known as the Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, homeported in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.

Mobile Bay's crew hosted the Ghost Ship tour to provide Halloween entertainment for the community and to collect non-perishable food donations for a local food bank.

U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay.

Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay 'Ghost Ship' Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay 'Ghost Ship'

Coastie, the remote control Coast Guard Auxiliary boat decked out in full pirate gear, greets Ghost Ship guests before they board Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, homeported in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.

Mobile Bay's crew hosted the Ghost Ship tour to provide Halloween entertainment for the community and to collect non-perishable food donations for a local food bank.

U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay.

Chief Petty Officer Daniel Orlando, an electrician's mate aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, homeported in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and his wife prepare for surgery on the ship's mess deck during a Ghost Ship tour aboard the cutter Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.

Mobile Bay's crew hosted the Ghost Ship tour to provide Halloween entertainment for the community and to collect non-perishable food donations for a local food bank.

U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay.



FEATURE RELEASE: The Old Coast Guard Station, visage of a bygone age  Follow link

October 31, 2014 2:13 pm

Crew of the old Life Saving Station at Seatack Photo of the Old Coast Guard Station The Old Coast Guard Station in the 1940s

Click on a picture to view a high resolution image

Story and photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert

Along Atlantic Ave, nearly lost in the shade of nearby hotels, the Old Coast Guard Station Museum in Virginia Beach stands watch over the very same stretch of ocean as it did when it was built more than 100 years ago.

Things have changed since those early days — the Life-Saving Service was joined with the Revenue Cutter Service to form the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915, the sand dunes that covered the shore have been flattened and replaced with paved streets, horses replaced with cars and the surfmen who braved the ocean swells with muscle and oar have been replaced with motorized boats and helicopters.

An old surfboat is displayed one the ground floor of the Old Coast Guard Station in Virginia Beach. The Life-Saving Service, the predecessor of the modern day Coast Guard, built the station in 1903 to replace an older station.The Old Coast Guard Station was decommissioned in 1969 when new technologies made the station redundant and obsolete. Ten years later, the station was refurbished and reopened with a new lease on life as a museum.

Yet, not all is quiet at the Old Coast Guard Station, guests and museum employees alike have spoken of strange occurrences within the white-walled building.Shown here is the Old Coast Guard Station in Virginia Beach. The Life-Saving Service, the predecessor of the modern day Coast Guard, built the station in 1903 to replace an older station.

“This building, it just… things happen here that we don’t have a clear answer for,” said William Hazel, the financial administrator and store manager for the museum. “For me personally, there was definitely something I felt in the tower one day — something really cold and small on my body. It wasn’t my whole body feeling cold, just one spot on my arm.”

While walking through the museum’s two-floors, visitors pass by thousands of artifacts and photographs. Rescue gear, equipment, images and stories harken back to a time of brave men who braved the ocean’s might to rescue those from peril.

During the station’s early history, rescues were conducted quite differently then they are today. While responding to a shipwreck, the surfmen would either attempt a rescue using a Lyle gun, a cannon like device that fires a rope to distressed ships, or they would use a lifeboat, which would be either pulled to the beach by horse or pulled by the crew’s own hands. The wrecks didn’t always happen near the station, and often, the crew would drag the carriages containing their rescue gear through miles of dunes to a scene. Lyle guns were operated from the beach and typically fired a large, 18-pound shot with heavy rope attached to a distressed boat. The surfmen endured backbreaking labor to save the lives of others, perhaps those same men are still standing the watch and walking the halls of the station today.

Katherine Fisher, the executive director of the Old Coast Guard Station, recounts a tale from shortly after the station was opened as a museum.

Surfman John Woodhouse Sparrow patrols the water's edge in Virginia Beach. Picture provided by the Old Coast Guard Station Museum staff.“A number of calls started going into the police about seeing people up in the [old station’s] tower,” said Fisher. “People who were out jogging in the evening or walking on the boardwalk would call the police to say someone was walking around in the museum. My predecessor got so tired of getting these calls at un-godly hours from the police department that they actually put an image of an old surfman up in the window so [the police] could just say you are just seeing an image.”

The staff had placed an image of John Woodhouse Sparrow into the tower, who may be a candidate for the late night tower sightings.

Sparrow’s career with the Life-Saving Service began in 1883, and he worked as a surfman until his retirement 33 years later. Born Sept. 13, 1855, in Virginia Beach, Sparrow’s early life is not well documented. It is believed he was a fisherman before he enlisted with the crew at the station. After joining, he married Vandalia Gornto and had seven children. Sparrow was a hard-working, dedicated lifesaver. After he retired, Sparrow lived within sight of the station, and on Jan. 25, 1935, Sparrow passed away at the age of 79.

For nearly 90 years, the crews of the Life-Saving Station and then the Old Coast Guard Station in Virginia Beach have stoodThe Old Coast Guard Station in Virginia Beach. The Life-Saving Service, the predecessor of the modern day Coast Guard, built the station in 1903 to replace an older station. Photo provided by staff at the Old Coast Guard Station Museum. guard on their stretch of the Atlantic Ocean. While the station remains, the guard has been passed to a new generation of lifesavers at nearby Coast Guard Station Little Creek.

Coast Guard men and women, past, present and future, have been, and always will be, ready to answer the call of those in need. However, whether or not those brave surfmen continue to stand the watch at the Old Coast Guard Station shall remain a mystery.



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