Roanoke Island crew delivers holiday donations


PORT GRAHAM, Alaska – Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island and Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel pose with residents of Port Graham while delivering gifts Dec. 19, 2011. The Coast Guardsmen delivered about $1,500 worth of new winter clothing and more than 400 articles of gently used clothing donated from across the region as part of the Homer area Coast Guard’s yearly charity event. U.S. Coast Guard photo by cutter Roanoke Island.


PORT GRAHAM, Alaska — The Coast Guard Cutter Roanoke Island crew, homeported in Homer, finished its annual holiday charity drive by visiting the remote Kenai Peninsula villages of Nanwalek and Port Graham to deliver boxes of canned food and winter clothing Dec. 19, 2011.

For two years running, the Coast Guard Auxiliary Homer Flotilla and Roanoke Island crew have collectively lead an effort to bring holiday cheer to local Alaska Native villages by supplying donated goods collected from across the region.  

Dan Cole, a longtime Homer resident and the current Coast Guard Auxiliary 17th District captain, led Auxiliary efforts over the past two months to solicit and collect donations from lower Cook Inlet to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. 

The morning of the delivery presented unseasonably good weather in Kachemak Bay allowing the Roanoke Island to offload all charitable items to the respective villages with the cutter’s small boat. Many Alaska Native villages are off of the road system, meaning delivery of goods is done by air transportation or by sea.  Community members from both villages eagerly awaited the Coast Guard’s arrival with holiday gifts. They were quick to show their appreciation for the donations as well as the Coast Guard’s presence in the region.

The Roanoke Island, a 110-foot patrol boat, was built in 1991 and commissioned in Homer in February 1992.  The 18-person crew conducts search and rescue, fisheries law enforcement and homeland security missions. They work closely with the Coast Guard Auxiliary Homer Flotilla, partnering for SAR operations, training and community service events.

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