A member from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, Alaska, inspects a vessel during a commercial fishing vessel safety exam in Dillingham, June 13, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Sockeye season spurs salmoner safety

The Bristol Bay Salmon Fishery is reported to be the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery with approximately 1,300 vessels registered to participate. This fishery annually provides more than one billion dollars in economic benefit for the state of Alaska, which means it’s vital that crews are prepared for any emergency so they can come home safe.

Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Cook greets his children after returning to Kodiak, Alaska, after a patrol on Coast Guard Cutter Munro June 16, 2015. The Munro crew's missions include law enforcement, search and rescue, and protection of marine mammals and endangered species. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren W. Steenson

Celebrating Father’s Day with the Coast Guard

We would like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all Coast Guard dads!

Family members wave as the Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island departs Homer, Alaska, for the last time, June 10, 2015. The cutter is transiting to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland, to be decommissioned. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Aleksander Kay

Roanoke Island rendezvous with retirement

The Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island shrinks toward the horizon as family members gather on the pier to wave goodbye to the crew and cutter. After 23 years of excellent service, the Roanoke Island is making its final departure from Homer, Alaska.

June 10, 2015, the 110-foot cutter began the journey that marked the end of its Coast Guard career. The island-class patrol boat will travel to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland, where it is scheduled to be decommissioned.

Coast Guard Lt. Rven Garcia, a fishing vessel examiner for Sector Anchorage, Alaska, prepares to board a fishing vessel in Port Moller, near Cold Bay June 5, 2015. Coast Guard personnel from the Sector Anchorage prevention department became the first Coast Guardsmen to conduct exams in Port Moller when they visited June 2-5. U.S. Coast Guard photo provided by USCG Sector AnchorageInline

A harbor less anchored; Coast Guard vessel examiners pay first visit to Port Moller’s Gentleman’s Fleet

Located approximately 100 miles northeast of Cold Bay, Port Moller is home to the “Gentleman’s Fleet,” a flotilla of approximately 40 fishing vessels whose crews travel to the port from all over the U.S. to harvest red and silver salmon every summer. The fleet takes its name from a cordial working relationship cultivated by several generations of crews looking out for one another while fishing out of the port, but that doesn’t mean these princes of the Alaska Peninsula welcomed the Coast Guard with open arms.

A small boat crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon conducts air operations training with a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew while underway May 27, 2015. The crew of the Mellon, a 378-foot high-endurance cutter homeported in Seattle, has been patrolling the high seas in search of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activity in support of Operation North Pacific Guard. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

High-Seas Driftnets: Destroyers of the Deep

For Operation North Pacific Guard, USCGC Mellon combats illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing

For nearly a year, the net has been forgotten. The fishermen who placed it there never located the radio beacon attached to it, so with a shrug of their shoulders they moved on. Not a single one of them has lost a moment of sleep or wondered what became of it; they didn’t see the dolphins flailing or hear the cries of the whales as the driftnet ensnared entire pods. As weeks passed, the commotion and the scent of prey drew in sharks and seals, and one by one they swam into the wall, where they would either suffocate or starve. Suspended across five miles, the hungry net continues to feed: tuna, turtles, salmon, squid, even birds, until…

“Everything,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Roy Hawes, a boatswain’s mate assigned to U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mellon. “Everything dies.”


CGC SPAR buoys waterways, tribal partnership near Bethel, Alaska

With ongoing missions throughout Alaska, it is important for Coast Guard members to understand the native cultures in Alaskan villages. With that in mind, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR took the opportunity to bring aboard Johnny Evan, president of the native village of Tuntutuliak and his grandson, Jaden Evan, during their recent trip to the Kuskokwim River. The village of Tuntutuliak is a small Yup’ik village, with a population of approximately 400, located southwest of Bethel.

Boom deployed by Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore floats near the New St. Joseph, an 83-foot fishing tender, in Cordova, Alaska, May 30, 2015. The boom was deployed to contain oily-water after the crewmembers dewatered the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Always ready at port or sea

The 83-foot fishing tender New St. Joseph sat moored at the Cordova, Alaska, Harbor. The hull rested low in the water, the railing even with the dock. A crewmember who went to check on the vessel reported to Coast Guard Sector Anchorage watchstanders that the vessel was taking on water.

Watchstanders aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore, a 225-foot Seagoing buoy tender homeported in Cordova, also overheard the radio calls and responded with a dewatering pump.

United States Coast Guard Auxiliary 17th District logo

Making the save in Whittier, Alaska; Coast Guard Auxiliary to the rescue

It was a calm day on the waters of Passage Canal near Whittier, Alaska, when Bill Reiter and his crew spotted a disabled recreational vessel in the main traffic lane. Reiter and his fellow Coast Guard Auxiliary members, Russ and Cathy Lyday, concerned for the safety of the vessel’s crew, went in for a closer look.

Ensign Jessica Stock and Lt. j.g. Victoria Swinghamer, boarding officers from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, Alaska, conduct a safety inspection in near Whittier, May 23, 2015. Personnel from Sector Anchorage and Station Valdez patrolled the waters near Whittier to enforce safety over the Memorial Day weekend. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Kim Jenish)

Safety in season

To promote safety precautions, Coast Guard personnel from Sector Anchorage and Station Valdez visited the local community to educate boaters and conduct safety inspections during Memorial Day weekend.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Belisle, a rescue swimmer from Air Station Sitka, Alaska, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Walters, a crew member at Aids to Navigation Team Sitka, help students into a life raft during a cold water safety program in Sitka, May 14, 2015. Coast Guard members partner with Alaska Marine Safety Education Association and the Sitka School District annually to teach students about cold water survival. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Lt. Jason Condon)

Students warm up to cold water safety

SITKA, Alaska – Since 2007, an average of 50 drownings has occurred every year in Alaska. This is the highest rate of drownings in the country. To make a change, Sitka School District partners annually with Alaska Marine Safety Education […]

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