Coast Guard Rear Adm. Dan Abel, commander, 17th district, hands lifejackets to members of the Barrow, Alaska, community during a Kids Don't Float event at the Barrow High School pool Feb. 3, 2016.  Abel and other Coast Guard personnel from the 17th District demonstrated the effectiveness of several different types of lifejackets and flotation devices during the class.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert.

Saving Lives at the Top of the World

The Iñupiat of Barrow have a history on the waters of the Arctic that can be traced back 1500 years. They owe their survival to the skills they’ve acquired subsisting off the sea’s bounty, and those skills include what they’ve learned about safety. That’s why the people of Barrow welcomed Rear Adm. Dan Abel, commander, USCG 17th District, other Coast Guard personnel and representatives of the Alaska Office of Boating Safety when they brought the Kids Don’t Float education program to the northernmost community in the United States Feb. 3.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Jacob Tyrell, small arms maintenance manager at Sector Anchorage, Alaska, displays a properly locked handgun and carrying case while explaining procedures for transporting weapons across state or international lines Jan. 26, 2016.  Coast Guard members who own personal firearms must become acquainted with laws regarding firearms to ensure safe, responsible ownership.  U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert.

Have gun – will travel: PCS moves cause firearms transport conundrum

It should come as no surprise then that many Coast Guard members, especially those serving in Alaska, own personal firearms. With another transfer season right around the corner, many Coast Guard personnel might be wondering how to safely and securely transport their weapons to their new units. Fortunately, the Gunner’s Mates at Sector Anchorage have some advice.

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Mustang fight a fire during training at the Alaska Vocational Technical Center’s fire trainer in Seward, Alaska, January 6, 2016. The fire trainer allowed the crewmembers to experience fighting a fire first hand. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Fire! Fire! Fire! CGC Mustang crew trains for flames

Coast Guard crewmembers routinely train to respond to emergency situations they may encounter while underway. Fire aboard a cutter can cause mass casualties or total loss of the vessel, but proper training can help crewmembers to quickly and safely save lives and the ship.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR marches with Santa, elves and presents through the village of Old Harbor, Alaska, Tuesday, Dec. 04, 2012. This year members of Marine Safety Detachment Kodiak also joined the crew of the SPAR, Santa and his elves to deliver holiday cheer to the children of Old Harbor. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg.

‘Tis the season for Boating Safety: 10 boating safety holiday gift ideas

Have you been struggling to find the perfect gift for your friendly fisherman or avid boater? You can give them a gift that will keep them safe while they are out on the water this season. From stocking stuffers to safety seminars, safety is the gift that’s in season.

Navigation Lights Power Driver Vessels

The safety of navigation lights

The U.S. Coast Guard is concerned about the sale and availability of unapproved recreational and commercial vessel navigation lights. Purchasers of such lighting should be aware replacement lighting may be improper for its application due to the failure by manufacturers to meet technical certification requirements.


The Last Frontier: Tactical Coxswain

One of Coast Guard Station Juneau’s two 45-foot Response Boats – Medium pulls away from the station’s pier and jets off across the city’s busy little harbor. Petty Officer 1st Class Brett Reilly, the station’s operations officer, test the engines and then lets the boat idle in the rain.

A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew conducts an overflight of the grounded fishing vessel Savannah Ray after reports of a diesel sheen near Kodiak Island, Alaska, March 5, 2015. The Savannah Ray initially ran aground Feb. 16, 2015, with four people aboard who were rescued by an aircrew from Air Station Kodiak. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Crew fatigue contributing to commercial fishing vessel groundings

In light of recent groundings in the State of Alaska involving uninspected commercial fishing vessels, owners/operators are reminded to be cognizant of crew fatigue while on watch. Since July 14, 2015 there have been 16 reported commercial fishing vessel groundings across Alaska’s waterways and preliminary investigations have concluded that at least five of the groundings were the result of crew fatigue. During the course of several investigations, masters and crew members admitted to Coast Guard Marine Investigators that they fell asleep at the helm after working long hours for several days.

Maritime operations can open crewmembers up to challenges that compromise their alertness and performance. Exposure to 24/7 fishing vessel operations and restricted sleep opportunities can result in frequent sleep disruptions, increasing contact with fatigue and effective situational awareness. These risk factors can have a negative impact on productivity and crew safety.

JUNEAU, Alaska - Petty Officer James Formosa stands ready on the bow of a Coast Guard 47-foot motor life boat to provide cooling water during a boat fire in Thomas Basin, Ketchikan June 27, 2005.. The Coast Guard crew assisted the Ketchikan Fire Department and provided security. USCG photo.

Smoke on the water; Coast Guard reminds boaters of onboard fire safety

Boating plays a vital role in Alaska and, in many instances, a vessel serves as both a means of making a living and a floating home away from home. Like any other home in Alaska, the cabin of a boat can often provide a warm refuge during cold weather, but mariners may become complacent to fire hazards onboard.

Container Feat

Safe to ship

To the casual spectator, there might not appear to be anything wrong with this particular container. These three know better. Their search focuses especially on the load-bearing sections of the giant box. The frames there are made to withstand an incredible amount of weight, so any kind of deterioration can mean a bad day at sea.

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.

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