Monday, September 05, 2005

Coast Guard presence is increasing


CGC SPENCER
Originally uploaded by Tidewater Muse.
The Coast Guard's presence along the Gulf coast continues to increase. Here's the Cutter Spencer, homeported here in Hampton Roads, at anchor in New Orleans.

I'd posted earlier about Gulfport. Well, the CG isn't deterred by a missing building.

From a recent press release:
COAST GUARD ESTABLISHES BASE IN GULFPORT, MISS.

MOBILE, Ala. - The Coast Guard is working to establish an operations base in Gulfport, Miss., to provide assistance to local law enforcement agencies, provide search and rescue capabilities and to establish a visible law enforcement presence in the community.

Coast Guard forces are being brought together to form Mississippi Coastal Recovery Base Gulfport as a result of the damage Hurricane Katrina caused along the Mississippi Coast. The Coast Guard Station in Gulfport was destroyed by the hurricane.

The following units are operating for the newly established base:
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Decisive is providing communications, homeland security and personnel support.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Pompano will assist in homeland security and search and rescue missions as needed.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Razorbill will assist in homeland security and search and rescue missions as needed.
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Harry Claiborne is working to restore and replace navigational aids near Gulfport.
  • Port Security Units 308 and 309 are providing boatcrews to assist in security, search and rescue missions as needed and helping establish the base.

  • Maritime Safety and Security Team Kings Bay, Ga., is patrolling Pearl River, Miss., providing shore-side security.
  • Crewmembers from former Coast Guard Station Gulfport are patrolling the waterways near Gulfport, providing shore-side security and assisting with search and rescue operations as needed.
Here's the press release from earlier today summarizing all ops up to this point. And, yes, I apologize for just cutting and pasting the release, but, hey, it works, sort'a.
UPDATE ON COAST GUARD OPERATIONS

ST. LOUIS - More than 2,400 Coast Guard personnel from Florida to Louisiana are continuing to conduct search, rescue, response, waterway reconstitution and environmental impact assessment operations today.

To date, the Coast Guard has used air and boat crews to rescue more than 22,000 people and has assisted with the joint-agency evacuation of an additional 9,400 patients and medical personnel from hospitals in the Gulf coast region. More than 11,000 of the rescues were made via air and almost 11,000 rescues were made via boat operations, and hundreds of people are continuing to be rescued daily by Coast Guard crews.

In total, the Coast Guard has 43 helicopters, eight fixed-wing aircraft and 14 Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft supporting the operations. In addition, there are more than 25 cutters and hundreds of small boats continuing to assist in the ongoing rescue and recovery operations.

EXTENSIVE SEARCH, RESCUE EFFORTS CONTINUE FOR NEW ORLEANS RESIDENTS: Rescue crews continue delivery of food, water

The Coast Guard's Sector New Orleans incident command center, located in Alexandria, La., is continuing to coordinate the Coast Guard’s response efforts in Louisiana today.

Ongoing operations include:
  • Personnel under Sector New Orleans command have rescued more than 18,000 people from the flooded areas of New Orleans since Aug. 29. These rescues were performed by the crews of Coast Guard helicopters, boats and cutters.
  • Coast Guard rescue operations are being conducted out of four primary staging areas:
    • Air operations are staging out of the Coast Guard Air Station in Belle Chasse, La.
    • Small boat operations are staging out of the Coast Guard Station in Bucktown, La., and additional small boat/flood punt operations are staging from the New Orleans Saints training facility.

    • On the Mississippi River, the cutters Spencer, Pamlico, Sturgeon, Pelican, Clamp, Greenbriar, Harriet Lane and Razorbill are supporting rescue operations, communications and logistical support for other local operations.
  • Units continue to deliver thousands of bottles of water to victims who remain in the New Orleans area.
  • The Coast Guard is coordinating the salvage of more than 100 vessels.
  • The Coast Guard has identified more than 150 pollution cases.

  • All operations are being coordinated with various federal, state and local agencies.
Status of Primary Waterways:
  • Lower Mississippi River:Open to ship, tug and barge traffic with the following restrictions: a safety zone is in place from Southwest Pass to mile marker 235 preventing vessels with a draft greater than 35 feet from transiting the river. Transits are allowed during daylight only, and one-way traffic is required in three areas.
  • Gulf Intercoastal Waterway: The Gulf Intercoastal Waterway west of Harvey Lock is open. The Harvey Lock east to mile marker 60 remains closed.
Coast Guard Response Forces:
  • Sector New Orleans incident command, located at the Louisiana Convention Center in Alexandria, La., coordinates all Coast Guard operations in the New Orleans area.
  • More than 1,300 Coast Guard personnel are currently engaged on the Hurricane Katrina response effort around New Orleans, with many more personnel en route.
  • Boats and personnel from Maritime Safety and Security Teams in New Orleans and Galveston are assisting in operations in New Orleans.
  • Four Disaster Area Response Teams (DART’s) are conducting operations in New Orleans.


COAST GUARD CONTINUES SEARCH, RESCUE FOR MISS., ALA. RESIDENTS

MOBILE, Ala. - The Coast Guard Sector Mobile incident command center located here is continuing to coordinate the Coast Guard’s Hurricane Katrina response efforts in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi today.

Coast Guard forces based here have rescued more than 4,400 people since operations began.

Twenty Coast Guard cutters and 36 small boats between Florida and Mississippi are working to repair missing or damaged navigational aids, providing communications and logistics support, supporting coastal search and rescue, conducting homeland security operations and are working alongside other agencies to survey the waterways.

Mobile-based Coast Guard aircraft continue to fly search and rescue missions to New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Nah, they're not busy at all. Let me see; at this point the Coasties who live down there and are now responding down there have been going full steam since last Saturday or so. That's not this past Saturday but the Saturday before Katrina made landfall. That's ten days with no or little sleep. They're going to need a break here at pretty soon.

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