Station Juneau escorts season’s first cruise ship
Posted by PA3 Grant DeVuyst, Thursday, May 3, 2012
JUNEAU, Alaska — Two Coast Guard Station Juneau Response Boat — Medium crews could be seen darting throughout Gastineau Channel as the first cruise ship of the season made a port call.
Over the next several months, an average of four or more cruise ships will make pull into downtown Juneau every day. By the end of the season, Juneau will have had about 550 of these large vessels visit. Work has to be done to keep the flow of vessels going and keeping those around them safe.
The Coast Guard has an interest in both the safety and security of the vessels and the ports they pull into. Response boats can often be seen escorting these large vessels in and out of the port areas. The mission of the Coast Guard boats is a simple one: ensure safe passage of the cruise ships. This is accomplished by ensuring boaters maintain a safe distance from the enormous ships transiting the narrow waters of Southeast Alaska.
The mission doesn’t end there. Coast Guard inspectors also work to keep the ports and passengers safe by conducting internationally recognized Port State Control exams of cruise ships.
“To ensure that the vessels are in compliance with all applicable international requirements we conduct quarterly compliance exams, courtesy visits, and marine casualty investigations” said Lt. Pat Drayer, of Sector Juneau’s Prevention Department.
The cruise ship industry is an important part of life in Juneau, as is ensuring people on the water and aboard the ships are safe. Let the busy season begin!
Post by Lt. Ryan Erickson, of Sector Juneau, and 17th District External Affairs