What Keeps the Coast Guard Awake at Night?


#1

I don’t know why the USCG is so worried because all the serious ice and shoals are in the Canadian Arctic? Of course, a fire could happen in the US sector. Maybe a USCG cutter like the HEALY needs to follow the ship with the cruise operator paying to cost? Seems fair to me!

[B]What Keeps the Coast Guard Awake at Night?[/B]

By Wendy Laursen 2015-09-15 23:59:15

Gary Rasicot, the Coast Guard’s director of marine transportation systems, told reporters at the recent GLACIER conference that Crystal Cruises’ Serenity keeps him awake at night.

In August next year, Crystal Serenity will sail from Alaska, through the Canadian Arctic to Greenland and then New York with 1,050 guests and 650 crew members on board.

Alaska Dispatch News quotes Rasicot saying: “As a Coast Guardsman, I don’t want a repeat of the Titanic, and we need to make sure that we think this through,” he said. “I want to make sure that those 1,700 people, when they lay their head on the pillow at night, they’ll be rest assured that if something bad happens we’ll be able to respond.”

For Rear Admiral Daniel Abel, U.S. Coast Guard – 17th District Commander, also speaking at GLACIER, it’s the Coast Guard Cutter Healy’s current mission to the North Pole that keeps him awake.

The vessel is there on her own in a hostile area, he says, there is no buddy system for her and “there’s nothing with a U.S. flag that is going to come save her” if difficulties arise.

Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, Charles D. Michel, answered questions with Abel at the event, and he spoke of the need for cooperation in the face of Arctic challenges.

“The Coast Guard really is a bureaucratically agile agency and has always existed in a partnership type format, even down in the Lower 48, but it becomes increasingly important here in the Arctic and Alaska because of the great distances involved, the weather associated with this, the tremendous logistics, communications, navigation challenges that are necessary. Virtually everything up here is done by partnership,” he says. “The Coast Guard can do almost none of this on its own.”

Answering concerns from the floor, Michel highlighted general recognition for the need for more U.S. icebreakers. Russia has over 40 heavy or medium or heavy icebreakers, yet the U.S. has a fleet of three, with one broken, he said.

“The bottom line is, if you want to provide global access seven by 24 to ice covered regions, you’ve got to have icebreakers. Other nations of the world understand that. The United States has always understood our need to access these regions for either pollution response, search and rescue national security reasons.”

“That fleet demands serious recapitalization,” says Michel. However, in the case of building U.S. icebreaker capacity, co-operation is being hampered by cross-agency need with a number of U.S. agencies being users of icebreakers that are essentially a billion dollar national asset. It’s a difficult problem for Washington, he says, citing cross-committee and cross-agency bureaucracy.

The U.S. has not built an icebreaker since the Polar Sea and Polar Star in the 1970s. Michel says the industry required to shape the unique steel used in icebreakers’ hulls has atrophied. “We are going to have to rebuild this,” he said.

It usually takes up to 10 years to build an icebreaker, and on his way to GLACIER, President Barack Obama proposed a faster timetable for buying a new heavy icebreaker for the U.S. Arctic. In the first step of Obama’s new timetable, the government would buy a heavy icebreaker by 2020 instead of the previous goal of 2022.

Meanwhile, the Healy continues on its mission GEOTRACES to study trace elements in the Arctic Ocean, and Crystal Cruises has a waiting list of over 700 people wanting to get on to the already-booked-out Serenity cruise.


#2

Ducks. Ducks keep me awake at night.


#3

Is that because they’re your mascot or because you’re concerned the new national security cutters might not be able to stand up to an invading squadron of them?


#4

[QUOTE=jdcavo;168954]Ducks. Ducks keep me awake at night.[/QUOTE]

What do you have against ducks SIR? I know many ducks, I have ducks who are good friends, ducks who are normal wage earning Americans and are no threat to the Homeland. I suggest you cease and desist from mentioning ducks again unless you want me to ask you to step outside!

Yummy! AHHHHHHHH!


#5

Very well. Ducks, wonderful ducks.


#6

[QUOTE=jdcavo;169014]Very well. Ducks, wonderful ducks.[/QUOTE]

that’s better.

you don’t know how close you were to getting sued by the Duck Anti Defamation League…

just know that you are on their radars now so mind where you step

.


#7

Aww, you guys are all quackers!


#8

I’d have to agree with you. Damn ducks…


#9

I can see why a DUKW would keep you awake at night.

http://news.yahoo.com/feds-plan-briefing-deadly-seattle-duck-boat-crash-200247665.html


#10

[QUOTE=KPChief;169537]I can see why a DUKW would keep you awake at night.[/QUOTE]

This happened the other day on a bridge I often drive over in Seattle which itself is its own deathtrap but the early finding that the owners of the DUKW did not do mods to the front axle which were called out is going to be very damning for themselves and for all other DUKW type tour operations. These craft have a hideous safety record and I had heard that the USCG had ceased issuing COIs to any other vehicles only allowing those with existing COIs to remain in service. This might finally be terminated and all put out of business until brandnew far safer vehicles are delivered.


#11


#12

MY GOD! I knew there had to be a name for the terror that envelopes me!

now I am finally free of needing anymore years of electroshock therapy and to think I was ready to undergo that lobotomy those “quack” doctors ordered!

Aflac

.


#13

I was just in Seattle 2 months ago and saw thes things navigating the ridiculous traffic around lake Union. Suffice to say a authentic WWII DUKW might be found on EBay in the near future. Can’t make any money with it but sure would be cool to show off at your local marina.
Edit: my condolences to the families of dead and injured from the Seattle accident. Very tragic.


#14

hideous safety record? I drove one for years without incident. The company I worked for is in it’s 17 year without a problem and DUKW tours started in 1946 and went until 1998 without a serious accident. In 2007 seven people died when a luxury coach drove off a overpass and strangely I still see tour buses on the road.


#15

[QUOTE=Tcaptain;169561]hideous safety record? I drove one for years without incident. The company I worked for is in it’s 17 year without a problem and DUKW tours started in 1946 and went until 1998 without a serious accident. In 2007 seven people died when a luxury coach drove off a overpass and strangely I still see tour buses on the road.[/QUOTE]

First let me say that I am a military vehicle aficionado and owner. I believe the DUKW is an awesome piece of American automotive engineering and that I would be proud to won one, but 70 years later they are not suitable as either a passenger vessel or a motor coach. They are antiquated and lack all the safety features that a newbuild would embody. Paying passengers and all drivers on our roads should be conveyed in the safest possible vehicles and not in those which are the most profitable for their owners. There is no good reason an entire new fleet of this type of vehicle cannot be built, but those would cost M-O-N-E-Y which these owners are loathe to spend. I say that time is up for these owners to do the right thing for their passengers and the public!

Answer me this SIR…is it true that the USCG will not issue a new COI to any WWII era DUKW? Let me also ask how many 70 year old tour busses are operating today?

.


#16

have you seen any of the abortion “new” ones? I’ve seen them in Boston for example and they’re a fucking death trap of equal proportions, just 65 years newer. Since you’re on the mainframe terminal, upload a pic for all to see.


#17

[QUOTE=z-drive;169573]have you seen any of the abortion “new” ones? I’ve seen them in Boston for example and they’re a fucking death trap of equal proportions, just 65 years newer. Since you’re on the mainframe terminal, upload a pic for all to see.[/QUOTE]

agreed, however I believe that mankind is quite capable to build a virtual replica only with modern materials, machinery and engineering


#18

just to set the record straight but “anatidaephobia” is in actuality fear that waterfowl are going to peck out your eyes and slurp them like two slugs then filterfeed on your brains…small difference I know but just wanted everything to be accurate for the record


#19

USCG opens its first seasonal Arctic helicopter base in the Chukchi Sea.

Coast Guard launches seasonal home base in Kotzebue

Author: Laurel Andrews Updated: 37 minutes ago Published 4 hours ago 

Local leaders roll in the Coast Guard Helicopter 6038 into the hangar during the U.S. Coast Guard Roll-in Ceremony in Kotzebue on Friday, June 24, 2016. The management of this hangar is passed from the Alaska National Guard to the U.S. Coast Guard under a five-year lease. (Sarah Bell / Alaska Dispatch News)

KOTZEBUE – The U.S. Coast Guard has a term for Alaska’s Arctic waters, one that explains why the agency has just signed its first-ever lease on a facility in this town on the edge of the sea.

“We have what we call a ‘new ocean,’ really,” said Mark Wilcox, Coast Guard commander.

New, because the waters are opening up in an unprecedented way. Sea ice is becoming thinner and thinner and, as the ice diminishes, the number of ships traveling through Arctic waters is increasing. From 2007 to 2015, traffic through the Bering Sea doubled, up to an average of about 400 trips a year.

The trend shows no sign of slowing down. This summer, the massive cruise ship Crystal Serenity will carry 1,700 passengers along Alaska’s coast, into the Arctic Ocean and through the Northwest Passage in Canada.

Coastal communities have voiced concerns over a lack of infrastructure available should an emergency occur; meanwhile, the Coast Guard has its eye on training.

In August, the agency will conduct an exercise that involves a mass rescue off of a cruise ship, Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Shawn Eggert said Friday.

“One way I’ve heard it said is it’s not a matter of if, but when,” Eggert said of a large-scale rescue in Arctic waters.

[This luxury cruise ship will soon sail through the Arctic. Here’s what that means for Alaska.]

So as maritime traffic increases, the Coast Guard has followed. The agency began Operation Arctic Shield — focused on increasing its Arctic awareness and preparedness — in 2012, and this year it’s establishing a seasonal home base in Kotzebue.

In prior Arctic Shield Operations years, the Coast Guard had skipped from town to town each summer — from Kotzebue to Barrow to Prudhoe Bay. A permanent base will allow for more flexibility, Eggert said.

Now, the Coast Guard will station two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters in the community, from May 1 to Sept. 30, for the next five years.

The Kotzebue facility, an airplane hangar on the periphery of town, was formerly used by the Alaska Army National Guard, but fell into disuse back in the 1990s. The National Guard’s numbers had dwindled, and the facility was shut down, said Col. Joe Streff.
The Color Guard waits outside of the Alaska Army National Guard Aviation Operations Facility before the start of the U.S. Coast Guard Roll-in Ceremony on Friday, June 24, 2016. (Sarah Bell / Alaska Dispatch News)
The Color Guard waits outside of the Alaska Army National Guard Aviation Operations Facility before the start of the U.S. Coast Guard Roll-in Ceremony on Friday, June 24, 2016. (Sarah Bell / Alaska Dispatch News)

Friday’s changing ownership — what the Guard called a “roll in,” because they rolled the helicopter into the hangar during the ceremony — was brief, but attended by dozens of community members, the Coast Guard and Army National Guard members. Also attending were Adjutant Gen. of the Alaska National Guard Laurie Hummel and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.

The facility will be named after Kotzebue resident John Schaeffer Jr., who, among other accomplishments, enlisted in the Army National Guard in 1957 and went on to become the nation’s first Inupiaq two-star general. Several of his family members attended Friday’s event; the building’s official naming will take place later this summer.

“We’re very honored that the Coast Guard has finally made it to Kotzebue,” said Eugene Smith, chief of staff for the Northwest Arctic Borough, during the ceremony.

The Coast Guard is hoping the new station will help ease what several members called the “tyranny of distance” — the challenges inherent in conducting search and rescue in the vast state of Alaska.

“That’s one of the biggest challenges to working (here),” Eggert said.
Jacob Williams, 8, poses for a photo in the Coast Guard Helicopter 6038 while his grandmother Rosie Garoutte takes a photo after the US Coast Guard Roll-in Ceremony on Friday, June 24, 2016. The community was invited to take a tour of the helicopter with the assistance of the Coast Guard Aircrew. (Sarah Bell / Alaska Dispatch News)
Jacob Williams, 8, poses for a photo in the Coast Guard Helicopter 6038 while his grandmother Rosie Garoutte takes a photo after the US Coast Guard Roll-in Ceremony on Friday, June 24, 2016. The community was invited to take a tour of the helicopter with the assistance of the Coast Guard Aircrew. (Sarah Bell / Alaska Dispatch News)

When there are no helicopters stationed in the Arctic, the Coast responds to rescues out of Kodiak — even if the person being rescued is 941 miles away, in Barrow.

The seasonal base will give the Coast Guard more flexibility and more efficient response times, Eggert said.

For Kotzebue resident Fannie Woods, the new Coast Guard presence offers a welcomed sense of security.

“It’s good to know that we have services for our waters here,” Woods said during a lunch after the ceremony.

Those waters — the Kotzebue Sound, which leads to the Chukchi Sea — are integral to the community’s way of life.

“We have a lot of hunters that do go out a lot of the time,” Woods said. Now, they have a little bit more peace of mind.


#20

For our reading entertainment 08/02/2016 - @ 1851 hours