Deck Watch goes to the buoy tender roundup

Coast Guard buoy tender crewmembers take turns hammering the pin to a shackle during the Buoy Tender Olympics heat-and-beat onboard the Coast Guard Cutter Fir July 18, 2012 in Juneau, Alaska. The Olympics blend competition with the day-to-day work crews are required to perform. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst.

Coast Guard buoy tender crewmembers take turns hammering the pin to a shackle during the Buoy Tender Olympics heat-and-beat onboard the Coast Guard Cutter Fir July 18, 2012 in Juneau, Alaska. The Olympics blend competition with the day-to-day work crews are required to perform. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Grant DeVuyst.

Lt. Kerri Dunning, of the District 17 waterways management department, discusses this year’s buoy tender roundup July 23, 2012, in Juneau, Alaska. Deck Watch radio is a five min weekly radio show covering Coast Guard news and operations in Alaska. To listen to this week’s show click here.

In other Coast Guard news this week:

July 23 – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley towed the disabled 50-foot sailboat Nkhovazi with two British nationals aboard to Dutch Harbor Monday. The sailboat crew experienced a loss of steering when their rudder broke July 20. They continued to nurse their boat toward Dutch Harbor until it became apparent that they would not make their destination without assistance. With the vessel 20 miles south of Unalaska and drifting away from land, the Alex Haley crew responded to the call for help, arriving on scene with the sailboat at just after midnight Sunday took the two crewmembers aboard and took the sailboat into tow. The Alex Haley arrived in Dutch Harbor Monday evening and the sailboat and crew were transferred to a tug and assisted into the harbor.

 July 23 – Chief Petty Officer Richard Whitney, an operations specialist from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, gave a group of high school students attending the North Slope Borough’s IMPACT Camp a demonstration on the use of satellite radio and GPS systems used by the Coast Guard at Forward Operating Location Barrow Monday while Lt. Cmdr. Tom Combs, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot at Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, gave Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell a tour. Coast Guard mechanics, electrical and communications specialists, pilots and swimmers were on hand to answer questions from the campers as they toured the FOL Barrow facility. This action coincides with Operation Arctic Shield 2012 and the Coast Guard’s ongoing outreach effort.

 July 24 – Alaska State Troopers informed 17th Coast Guard District about a message in a cigar case found by someone beachcombing in Naknek Tuesday. The message stated that the fishing vessel Hustle and Flow had sunk 57 miles from Cape Chichagof, and that the crewmembers were on land, running out of supplies and requested assistance. The reporting source stated that the cigar case did not seem weathered. The electrical tape holding the cigar case shut was in good shape and the source believed it was a joke. No other debris has been located and vessel databases do not show an existence of this vessel in Alaska. The Coast Guard ran an urgent marine information broadcast on HF and VHF channels for over a day without any response. The case was suspended pending any further information.

 July 25 – The Coast Guard in coordination with North Slope Borough Search and Rescue located and safely hoisted a Norwegian hiker Wednesday near the Antigun River about 240 miles southeast of Barrow. The original distress call came into the North Slope Borough SAR and Alaska State Troopers who requested Coast Guard assistance from the aviation crews in Barrow at the FOL. The recovered hiker reported via satellite phone that he had been on a hiking trip with his best friend from the Canadian Border to the Bering Sea across the Brooks Mountain Range. The second hiker had slipped and fallen several hundred feet into the Antigun River. Rescuers located the second hiker about a mile down river from where he fell. The man was unresponsive. Due to the weather and challenging terrain it was not possible for the aircrew to recover the man using their rescue swimmer. North Slope Borough SAR and the Alaska State Troopers are working to recover the second man Thursday. The first hiker was safely returned to Barrow by the Coast Guard aircrew.

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