Crew of Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf conducts outreach in Wainwright

Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex Luna, a crewmember of the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf teaches a student at Alak School in Wainwright, Alaska, about boating safety and how to properly wear his life vest, Sept. 7, 2012, as part of the Coast Guard’s Operation Arctic Shield. Teaching water safety techniques to remote Alaska communities is an important because many of the communities rely on subsistence harvests from the surrounding ocean for their survival. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Timothy Tamargo.


The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, Wainwright Mayor’s Office, local search and rescue personnel and community leaders met to discuss Coast Guard Arctic Shield 2012, Wednesday.


The Bertholf is one of many Coast Guard units that is partnering with local communities in northern Alaska to prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths due to lack of proper protective equipment or unsafe boating.


One of the techniques being used by Coast Guard to highlight water safety has been the kids don’t float campaign which is geared towards teaching school children important boating safety techniques they can use though out their life in order to stay safe on the water.


“It was great working with the local community and going over boating safety because safety is the number one concern for everyone on the water,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex Luna, a member of the Bertholf outreach team. “Working with the kids is always great.  Teaching them the proper use of life jackets will follow them throughout their lives when they are in and around the water.”


In addition to their community outreach work, the crew of the Bertholf has been conducting underway, Arctic operations and a capability assessment of the cutter’s systems to ensure that the ship is able to meet the Coast Guard’s statutory missions and ensure that the Arctic remains a safe, secure and environmentally sustainable region.


“Our objectives are maritime operations, outreach and Arctic capabilities assessment,” said Capt. Thomas Crabbs, the commanding officer of the Bertholf. “This outreach effort was a great event. The crew strengthened our partnerships with the Wainwright community and North Slope Borough with professionalism and friendship.”


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