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Recent Updates for U.S. Coast Guard Digital Newsroom


Learning to lead: Washington-based Coast Guardsman soars at Airman Leadership School  Follow link

September 15, 2014 6:15 pm

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Coast Guard interdicts 3 suspected smugglers and over a ton of marijuana off California coast  Follow link

September 15, 2014 3:39 pm

LOS ANGELES – Three Mexican national men are facing federal drug smuggling charges following their arrest early Saturday by Coast Guard units in connection with the interdiction of a panga carrying more than a ton of marijuana about 57 miles southwest of San Nicholas Island, California.

A C-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, Calif., spotted a suspicious panga boat while on patrol. The aircrew relayed the coordinates to the Cutter Active, a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter, for further investigation as they were patrolling nearby. The Active began to move into a position to intercept the vessel while the Coast Guard Cutter Blacktip was maneuvering to assist.

The Active launched their onboard small boat to intercept the panga with a boarding team onboard. The Coast Guard team was able to board the vessel without incident.

A visual inspection of the vessel by the boarding team led to the discovery of 267 bales of marijuana, with a total weight of more than 3,300 pounds.

“As we’ve become increasingly effective at interdicting maritime smuggling attempts, smugglers are resorting to more advanced and diverse tactics,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. “That includes carrying multi-ton loads of contraband and going farther out to sea. However, as the crew of this panga discovered, those efforts are increasingly proving fruitless in the face of the overwhelming federal law enforcement response.”

The panga, contraband, and three suspected smugglers were transferred from Active to Blacktip. The crew of the Blacktip transported the suspects to shore and turned them over to investigators with the multiagency Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST), spearheaded by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, for questioning. The case has been accepted for prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the three men are expected to make their initial appearance in federal court on the drug charges Monday afternoon.

"Every shipment of drugs stopped at sea denies international criminal organizations some of the resources they need to continue their illegal and deadly enterprise, and helps us better target their illicit networks," said Rear Adm. Joseph Servidio, Commander of the 11th Coast Guard District. "The Coast Guard crews involved in this bust, along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, can be proud of their accomplishments. As our brave men and women work to stem the flow of smuggling we ask boaters and the public to help us by reporting any suspicious activity they observe at sea or along the coast. If you see something, say something."

The Cutter Active is homeported in Port Angeles, Wash. The Cutter Blacktip is a 87-foot patrol boat home-ported in Oxnard, Calif.



Fourth National Security Cutter delivered to Coast Guard  Follow link

September 15, 2014 3:33 pm

The Coast Guard accepted delivery of the fourth National Security Cutter, Hamilton, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Monday.

Hamilton will be the first of two NSCs to be homeported in Charleston, South Carolina. The cutter will be commissioned into service Dec. 6.

“After three years of fabrication and expert craftsmanship, Ingalls shipyard has delivered a great ship to the Coast Guard,” said Capt. Douglas Fears, the prospective commanding officer of Hamilton. “The Coast Guard's Project Resident Office has fastidiously overseen the production of Hamilton through all key acquisition milestones.”

The cutter is now officially an asset of the Coast Guard and custody is turned over from the shipyard to its commanding officer and crew.

“Hamilton's crew has prepared over six months for this day, and we are both honored and humbled to be entrusted with the task of bringing this great ship to life and readying her for decades of service to our nation,” Fears said.

The Hamilton is the sixth cutter in Coast Guard history named after Alexander Hamilton, who as the first Secretary of the Treasury prompted Congress to create the Revenue Marine, a precursor to the modern Coast Guard.

The first three NSCs – Coast Guard Cutters Bertholf, Waesche and Stratton – are performing operations from their Alameda, California, homeport. The fifth NSC, James, is scheduled to be delivered in the summer of 2015. The keel laying for the sixth, Munro, is scheduled for later this fall, with delivery scheduled for 2016. The seventh, Kimball, is under production, and long lead time materials for the eighth, Midgett, have been ordered.

The Legend-class NSC is the largest multipurpose cutter in the Coast Guard fleet and is replacing the 378-foot high endurance cutter, which has been in service since the 1960s. The NSC is 418 feet long and has a top speed of 28 knots and a range of 12,000 nautical miles. It is capable of performing 60- to 90-day patrols.

For more on the NSC acquisition project, please visit: http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/NSC



Coast Guard rescues three hunters near Kodiak, Alaska  Follow link

September 15, 2014 3:20 pm

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued three hunters from dangerous weather conditions at Windy Lake near Kodiak Sunday.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak safely transported the men to Air Station Kodiak where they were examined by waiting emergency medical personnel.

Watchstanders at the 17th District command center in Juneau received a request for assistance from Sea Hawk Air and Alaska State Troopers to rescue the hunters when weather conditions became too dangerous for the men to remain at their campsite. The men's tents were blown away by 30-40-mph winds Saturday night, and there were concerns they might become hypothermic. The helicopter crew launched from Kodiak and managed to land near the men, allowing them to board the helicopter and be flown to safety.

"These men did the right thing by planning ahead, maintaining contact with their charter agency and rescuers and, most importantly, not overestimating their ability to endure the elements," said Lt. Cmdr. Doug Watson of the Coast Guard 17th District response management department. "As we get closer to autumn and the weather becomes colder, it becomes more important for hunters to plan for rain, heavy winds and other dangerous conditions."

The Coast Guard reminds hunters to leave a travel plan including campsite locations and estimated trip duration with family or friends before beginning any hunting trip. It is also recommended to bring more than one means of communication when possible and to always carry a signal device such as a mirror or flares for the event of a rescue.

The weather on scene at the time of the rescue was reported to be 45-degrees Farenheit with intermittent showers and up to 46-mph winds.



Media Advisory: Commandant to recognize Coast Guardsman following counter drug operations  Follow link

September 15, 2014 1:36 pm

Who: Commandant of the Coast Guard Adm. Paul Zukunft

What: The Coast Guard’s highest-ranking member is scheduled to surprise a Coast Guardsman and recognize him for his performance during two narcotics operations off the coast of Colombia.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, at 11:15 a.m.

Where: Coast Guard Base Alameda, Coast Guard Island, Calif.

Why: Coast Guardsmen integral role in combating a drug trade that fuels transnational organized crime networks and gangs costing our cities $193 billion in losses and destabilizing fragile states in our hemisphere now with 8 out of 10 of the highest murder rates in the world. In fiscal year 2013 alone, the Coast Guard interdicted more than 275,000 pounds of illegal narcotics. Everyday Coast Guardsmen are on the frontlines combating violent criminal networks fueled and funded by the illicit trafficking of drugs, weapons and people. Adm. Zukunft wants to take an opportunity to recognize a member for his service and sacrifice Tuesday.

Details: Media will be invited to follow Adm. Zukunft as he surprises the member. Additionally, members of the media will receive previously unreleased photos and information from two at-sea counter drug operations off the coast of South America. Interviews with Adm. Zukunft, the Coast Guardsman and the member’s shipmates will also be available.

Media interested in attending the event, please call Chief Warrant Officer Allyson Conroy at (510) 437-5682 or Allyson.e.conroy@uscg.mil.



Coast Guard rescues man off South Texas coast after missing for more than 24 hours  Follow link

September 15, 2014 12:19 pm

Still photo of a hoist of a missing man off South Texas
Coast Guard crews hoisted a man from the Gulf of Mexico, Sept. 14, who has been missing for more than 24 hours. U.S. Coast Guard video by Air Station Corpus Christi.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard rescued a man from the Gulf of Mexico Sunday, who was missing for more than 24 hours after his boat sank Saturday.

The Coast Guard had been searching for a 37-year-old San Antonio man since 1 p.m. Sunday, after being notified by the oil rig supply vessel Go America that they had picked up three people out of the water offshore of San Jose Island, and that there was another man missing.

At approximately 8:30 p.m., lookouts on the Tanker Pacific Marchioness heard cries for help coming from the water. The tanker immediately contacted watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi Command Center. The watchstanders diverted an aircrew on an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter already airborne engaged in the search.

The helicopter arrived on scene three minutes after the Pacific Marchioness made contact with Coast Guard watchstanders. After a brief search, the air crew located the man and hoisted him aboard the rescue helicopter. The crew then transported him to Spohn Memorial Hospital.

The four San Antonio men were fishing near oil rigs east of Port O’Connor, Texas. Their 25-foot center console boat sank Saturday and all four men entered the water before they could call for help. They were wearing life jackets and drifted overnight to where they were found by the Go America.

The Coast Guard launched two crews on 45-foot response boats, one from Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor and one from Station Port Aransas, the Coast Guard Cutter Steelhead, an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Sector Corpus Christi, and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed wing surveillance aircraft from Air Station Mobile, Alabama to conduct the search. Watchstanders also made several Urgent Marine Information Broadcasts notifying vessels in the area to keep a look out for the man. The broadcast was heard by the crew of the Pacific Marchioness.

“We are extremely happy to have found and brought this man to safety after he was in the water for over 24 hours,” said Lt. Cmdr Nathan Allan, the search and rescue mission coordinator for this case. “The positive outcome of this case is due to the maximum effort we put into the search and fact that he was wearing a life jacket. Credit goes to the crew of the Go America for finding the first three men, and the crew of the Pacific Marchioness for keeping a sharp lookout for a known person in distress. The actions of both of these crews contributed greatly to the happy ending of this case.”

The man is being treated at Spohn Memorial Hospital and is in stable condition.

The Coast Guard urges the importance of using safe boating practices. Have a boating plan and communicate it with friends and family, do not boat under the influence of alcohol, and always wear a life jacket.



Coast Guard rescues 3 aboard flooding vessel near Eatons Neck Point, N.Y.  Follow link

September 15, 2014 9:27 am

NEW YORK - Rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck rescued 3 distressed mariners near Eatons Neck Point, N.Y., Sunday.

At approximately 6:45 a.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound Command Center received a distress call from the 18-foot Robalo vessel via VHF Channel 16 saying their vessel was flooding due to waves coming over the stern.

In under 2 minutes, Station Eatons Neck arrived on scene and assisted the mariners aboard their 25-foot response boat small. Suffolk County Dispatch launched a marine unit and Suffolk County Aviation to assist.

All mariners were wearing lifejackets and were in no need of medical attention. Coast Guard Station Eatons Neck was able to control the flooding and towed vessel to Soundview Ramp in Northport, N.Y.



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