USCG Sector Puget Sound Launches Effort to Curb Vessel Traffic’s Impact on Whales

The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound is engaging in a four-year pilot program that is expected to help minimize the vessel traffic impact on endangered whales in the Salish Sea, the agency announced Feb. 21. Hosted in the Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), the program allows for the Coast Guard to get whale sighting reports from mariners and give close to real-time information on whale locations to mariners through a whale report alert system, according to the Guard. The Coast Guard said that it plans to work closely with international, federal, tribal and state entities as well as…
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Executive Order Expands Coast Guard’s Authority to Address Maritime Cyber Threats

On Feb. 21, President Biden signed an executive order amending regulations relating to the safeguarding of U.S. vessels, harbors, ports and waterfront facilities, updating the Code of Federal Regulations to explicitly address cyber threats. “This executive order ensures Coast Guard authorities are aligned with emerging cybersecurity threats, and reflects the commitment of the Biden administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard to safeguard maritime critical infrastructure,” Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy Rear Admiral Wayne Arguin said. Section 70051 of title 46, United States Code, commonly referred to as the Magnuson Act, authorizes the President…
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USCG Launches New Merchant Mariner Credential Format

On March 1, the U.S. Coast Guard began issuing merchant mariner credentials in a new format that replaces the red passport-style book with related endorsement labels, according to the National Maritime Center. “The complexity and degraded reliability of the custom printers used to print the (credential) books necessitated a change to the credential printing process,” according to USCG, adding that the new credentials are going to be “printed on readily available commercial desktop laser jet printers and will vastly improve print services and availability.” The new format is expected to be on 8.5-inch by 11-inch “waterproof and tear-resistant synthetic paper”…
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Coast Guard Conducts Compliance Exam at  Port of Guam

Coast Guard Conducts Compliance Exam at Port of Guam

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam conducted a Certificate of Compliance (COC) examination on the MSC Bellissima, a 1,036-foot cruise ship flagged out of Malta, at the Port of Guam on Jan. 3. “This examination underscores the U.S. Coast Guard’s role in maritime safety and its integral part in bolstering local commerce and tourism, which are lifelines of the island’s economy,” the Guard said in a statement. “This is our first cruise ship exam since 2018 and the largest since the Norwegian Joy in 2016,” Chief Warrant Officer Jennifer Thomas, an inspector with U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam, said.…
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Coast Guard Cutter Munro Visits Japan, South Korea

Coast Guard Cutter Munro Visits Japan, South Korea

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Munro visited Yokosuka, Japan and the Republic of Korea during international port visits conducted in July and August. In Japan, the Munro conducted training and engagements with the Japan Coast Guard; in Gwangyang, South Korea, the cutter conducted several days of engagements and exchanges with the Korea Coast Guard. The Munro arrived Aug. 6 while deployed in the Indo-Pacific and hosted several members of the Japan Coast Guard for professional exchanges, including showcasing the Munro’s small boat and aerial capabilities and search-and-rescue operations. The visit allowed members of both services to discuss their dual mission…
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Coast Guard Cutter Returns After 57-Day Arctic Ocean-Bering Sea Patrol

Coast Guard Cutter Returns After 57-Day Arctic Ocean-Bering Sea Patrol

The Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley returned to its homeport of Kodiak, Alaska on Labor Day following a 57-day patrol in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea. The Alex Haley is a 282-foot Medium Endurance Cutter that performs search and rescue, fisheries law enforcement and vessel safety inspections across Alaska and has been homeported in Kodiak since 1999. Nicknamed the “Bulldog of the Bering,” the vessel supported multiple strategic-level objectives for the Seventeenth Coast Guard District and the U.S. Northern Command during its 57-day mission, including providing presence along the U.S. Maritime Boundary Line and supporting U.S. Navy assets during…
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Coast Guard Medevacs Fisherman 93 Miles Off San Diego Coast

Coast Guard Medevacs Fisherman 93 Miles Off San Diego Coast

A Coast Guard helicopter aircrew medically evacuated a 50-year-old male from the sport fishing vessel Spirit of Adventure about 93 miles west of Point Loma, on Aug. 16.  Crew aboard the Spirit of Adventure contacted Coast Guard Sector San Diego Joint Harbor Operations Center at about 1:40 p.m. requesting assistance for a passenger who was displaying symptoms of a heart attack. Watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Sector San Diego MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, including a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Special Tactics and Rescue (STAR) Team paramedic, to assist. Once on the scene, the helicopter crew recovered the patient and transported…
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Coast Guard Cutter Healy Embarks on Arctic Ocean Mission

Coast Guard Cutter Healy Embarks on Arctic Ocean Mission

The Coast Guard cutter Healy and a team of researchers have embarked on a months-long mission to gain insight on how warmer water from the Atlantic Ocean is being introduced into the Arctic at the shelf water level, deep basin interior and upper ocean. The mission was announced by the U.S. Coast Guard on Aug. 26. According to the USCG, researchers from the National Science Foundation and International Arctic Research Center will service the Nansen and Amundsen Basins Observational System (NABOS), in hopes of developing an understanding of water circulation in the region and will sample the water column in…
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U.S. Coast Guard Alaska Responds to Multiple Fishing Vessel Medevacs

U.S. Coast Guard Alaska Responds to Multiple Fishing Vessel Medevacs

On Aug. 25, Coast Guard District 17 command center personnel received a medevac request from the fishing vessel Northern Eagle at 6:20 a.m. for a 26-year-old crewmember experiencing abdominal pain. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter air crew launched from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak and hoisted the crewmember at 8:15 p.m. about 23 miles northwest of St Paul Island. The man was then flown to St. Paul where he was transferred to commercial emergency medical services at 9 p.m. for further care in Anchorage.   Also on Aug. 25, Coast Guard District 17 command center personnel received a medevac request from…
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Coast Guard Cutter Healy Gets New C.O., Departs for Arctic

Coast Guard Cutter Healy Gets New C.O., Departs for Arctic

Capt. Michele Schallip on June 29 returned for a second tour as commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Healy, one of two active icebreakers homeported in Seattle. Commissioned in 1999, the Healy is the newest, largest and most technologically advanced icebreaker in the Coast Guard’s fleet. Adm. Linda Fagan, commandant of the US. Coast Guard presided over the change of command ceremonies in Seattle in which Schallip relieved Capt. Kenneth Boda as commanding officer. Schallip previously served as the ship’s executive officer from 2018 to 2020. Boda service as the Healy’s commanding officer began in June 2021. Twice…
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