Every mariner who takes to the sea plots their course and navigates day and night, through storms or calm seas with one constant to rely on; navigational aids. The Coast Guard has been committed to keeping the maritime community safe by maintaining navigational aids since the first American lighthouse was illuminated in Boston Harbor in 1716. The United States placed its first aids to navigation in Alaskan waters in 1884.
Every Spring the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Elderberry drops 18 buoys into the Gastineau Channel. These floating aids to navigation serve as markers for mariners operating on the narrow, shallow Mendenhall River Bar during the busy summer boating season. It’s a preventative measure that stops a lot of search and rescue cases before they even happen, an integral part of the Coast Guard’s mission to protect the safety of life at sea.
Coming from two completely different worlds, in terms of training and daily operations, it’s the ability to help each other accomplish their missions that make the two units a perfect match. As long as they’re able to safeguard mariners in Southeast Alaska, everyone is happy.
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Hickory returned to its homeport in Homer from a two week patrol to decommission the seasonal aids to navigation in the Kuskokwim River in Southwestern Alaska Oct. 16.
In the era of diminishing Arctic sea ice, the U.S. Coast Guard continually strives to build awareness, modernize governance and broaden partnerships. On the forefront of these missions is the crew of Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, who returned recently from a 38 day deployment in support of Operation Arctic Shield 2014.
By Ens. David Parker As part of an in-port maintenance period this week, the Homer based Coast Guard Cutter Hickory conducted a top end overhaul of the port-side main propulsion engine for the first time since the cutter was commissioned […]