My Coast Guard
Commentary | July 8, 2021

Frontline Focus: Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley returns home

By Janki Patel, MyCG Writer

Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley returns home: The Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley returned to its homeport of Kodiak, Alaska, June 29, 2021, following a 52-day Bering Sea patrol. While deployed, the crew of the Alex Haley provided search and rescue capability to the fisheries in the Bering Sea. They conducted 17 law enforcement boardings, ensured compliance with maritime laws and regulations, and protected the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone by patrolling the maritime boundary line to prevent the illegal harvesting of U.S. fish stocks. “Assuming the duties as commanding officer of Alex Haley during a patrol afforded me the opportunity to learn a great deal about the ship and its crew,” said Cmdr. Brian Whisler commanding officer of the Alex Haley. “While such a significant transition can prove challenging, the crew continually maintained impressive work ethic and professionalism in the execution of our primary missions. Their dedication to the people and communities we serve proves Alex Haley crew members is a vital asset in the Bering Sea region.” Learn more.

Coast Guard and port partners find missing boaters near. On July 2, the Coast Guard and multiple port partners searched for and located two overdue boaters near Newport News, Virginia. A crew from Station Portsmouth located the vessel beached near Morrison Creek along with the owner and his dog. The second boater swam across the Warwick River and was able to walk to safety, then notified emergency services. “When boaters are overdue and missing, minutes and seconds can be the determining factor in life or death for those involved," said Lt. Michael Brooks, Sector Virginia command duty officer. "Float plans, [emergency position indicating radio beacon] EPIRBS, lifejackets, and working communication devices are all gear that can get the Coast Guard to you quickly and accurately in emergencies. The cooperative efforts and quick action displayed by our partners remains the cornerstone of our success.” Learn more.

Coast Guard Sectors Miami, Key West set Port Condition Whiskey for Hurricane Elsa. On July 2, Coast Guard Captain of the Ports for Key West and Miami (COTP) set port condition Whiskey for the Port of Key West and the Port of Miami due to the expectation of sustained gale force winds of 25 mph and gusts up to 40 mph generated from Hurricane Elsa that may arrive within 72 hours. For information on Hurricane Elsa progress and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center's webpage. The Coast Guard is warning the public of these important safety messages. Learn more.

13th Coast Guard District holds change of command. On July 1, Rear Adm. Melvin Bouboulis relieved Rear Adm. Anthony “Jack” Vogt as commander of the 13th Coast Guard District during a change of command ceremony at Coast Guard Base Seattle. Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, presided over the ceremony. As the 13th District Commander, Bouboulis is responsible for all Coast Guard operations throughout the Pacific Northwest which encompasses the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, and includes more than 4,400 miles of coastline, 600 miles of inland waterways, and a 125 nautical mile international border with Canada. The change of command ceremony 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 Air Station Savannah rescues man near Stono River Inlet. A helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah reunited with the man they rescued June, 24. The man was able to transmit “May Day,” which Sector Charleston was able to correlate his position and send two HH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopters. Harry Tatoaian III was aboard his boat when his sail ripped in half. Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph Florio, the helicopter’s rescue swimmer, pulled Tatoian from the water to safety aboard the rescue helicopter. The rescue crew and Tatoaian reunited June 30 at Coast Guard Sector Charleston. Learn more.