Commentary | July 1, 2021

Frontline Focus: Coast Guard, partner agencies respond to public safety threat of explosives and hostages

By Janki Patel, MyCG Writer

Coast Guard, partner agencies respond to public safety threat of explosives and hostages. On June 24, an employee from Argosy Cruises contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, Washington to report one of their vessels, Beaver, was stolen from their dock. Sector Puget Sound watchstanders immediately began to track the stolen vessel as the operator made his way northbound. It was reported the person aboard the stolen vessel used a VHF-FM radio on channel 16 to relay threats of explosives and hostages. Following the notification of potential explosives and hostages, Sector Puget Sound watchstanders coordinated their response with local and state authorities. Coast Guard units arrived on scene and observed the person sitting aboard the vessel's stern. After speaking to the person and assessing the situation, the Station Port Angeles boat crew aboard a response boat-medium (RB-M) approached the vessel and took the subject into custody. The stolen vessel was taken to shore in Seattle for further investigation. Learn more.

Coast Guard Eighth District holds change of command ceremony. On June 25, Coast Guard Eighth District personnel held a change of command ceremony at the Port of New Orleans. Rear Adm. John P. Nadeau transferred command of the district to Rear Adm. Richard V. Timme. A change of command ceremony marks a transfer of total responsibility and authority from one individual to another. It is a time-honored tradition conducted before the assembled crew, as well as honored guests and dignitaries to formally demonstrate the continuity of the authority within a command. Learn more.

Coast Guard holds change of watch ceremony for 13th District Command Master Chief. On June 25, Master Chief Petty Officer Shane Carroll relieved Master Chief Petty Officer Jason Wong as the 13th Coast Guard District Command Master Chief during a change of watch ceremony at Alki Lighthouse, Seattle. The mission of the 13th District is to be ever vigilant maritime guardians of the Pacific Northwest, providing maritime safety, security, and law enforcement, regulatory oversight of commercial and recreational waterway users, and protection of the environment. Learn more

USCG Cutter Healy holds change of command ceremony. On June 25, a change of command ceremony was held aboard USCG Cutter Healy at Coast Guard Base Seattle. Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier, acting commander Coast Guard Pacific Area and Defense Forces West presided over the ceremony in which Capt. Kenneth J. Boda relieved Capt. Mary Ellen J. Durley as Healy’s commanding officer. “It has been my honor serving alongside an outstanding crew, Team Healy, who persistently overcame engineering challenges and a global pandemic to execute critical Coast Guard missions protecting U.S. strategic interests in the Arctic,” said Durley. “I look forward to supporting Healy’s future sustainment efforts beyond 21 years and building our new Polar security cutters, which are vital to operating effectively in the dynamic Arctic domain.” Learn more.

Coast Guard rescues five hunters near Kotzebue, Alaska. On June 23, the Coast Guard rescued five hunters who had been stranded for four days on the ice pack near Cape Espenberg, southeast of Kotzebue. Watchstanders in the 17th District command center received the initial request for assistance from the hunters’ satellite communication device. The hunters reported that their 20-foot vessel had become trapped and they were unable to maneuver out of the ice pack. “We want to stress the importance of letting people know where you are going on the water and carrying multiple forms of communication,” said Lt. j.g. Chris McCarthy, the command duty officer for the 17th District command center. “In this case, the hunters had an electronic location device and supplies for several days.” Learn more.