Commentary | Sept. 10, 2021

Frontline Focus: Coast Guard works to reopen ports, waterways throughout southeast Louisiana following Hurricane Ida, and more. 

By Janki Patel, MyCG Writer

Coast Guard works to reopen ports, waterways throughout southeast Louisiana following Hurricane Ida. The Coast Guard continues working to reopen the ports and waterways throughout southeast Louisiana following Hurricane Ida. Capt. Will Watson, Coast Guard Captain of the Port for the Port of New Orleans, worked in close coordination with federal, state, parish, city, and maritime stakeholders to safely reopen seafaring traffic along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Some key areas along the river remain closed as recovery operations continue. “We continue to work closely with the State of Louisiana and our maritime industry partners to reconstitute our ports,” said Watson. “This is a massive recovery effort and we are doing our part to ensure that the commerce that sustains our nation can continue to flow freely and safely over our critical waterways.” Learn more

Coast Guard continues to support Hurricane Ida recovery efforts. On September 6, the Coast Guard continued its assessment of damage and environmental threats across southeast Louisiana, post Hurricane Ida. Coast Guard crews from across the nation, including the National Strike Force, Unmanned Aircraft System Teams, and personnel from Coast Guard Sector New Orleans and Marine Safety Unit Houma, have deployed throughout southeastern Louisiana to conduct hazard assessments in order to identify and prioritize threats to the environment and navigable waterways. These assessments are essential to ensuring waterways are safe for marine traffic and ensuring that potential pollution hazards are expeditiously identified and mitigated. The Coast Guard continues to prioritize nearly 350 reported incidents for further investigation by state, local, and federal authorities in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Learn more.

Coast Guard rescues two kayakers off Maui, Hawaii. On September 2, the crew of a Coast Guard Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium recovered the two kayakers and safely transported them back to the harbor. Both kayakers were reported to be in stable condition. “By having on their life jackets, these kayakers were able to safely wait for help to come,” said Ensign Jon Smith, the command duty officer for Sector Honolulu. “Taking the proper precautions while spending time out on the water can make a drastic difference in cases like these.” Learn More.

Coast Guard implements underway safety initiative for small passenger vessels operating in California waters. The safety compliance checks are being conducted underway on smaller, U.S., inspected passenger vessels to ensure continued regulatory compliance. The underway inspections focus on fire hazards, safety equipment and emergency exits on board small passenger vessels to prevent loss of life at sea. “Our intent with these safety compliance checks is to bridge gaps that were identified following the fire onboard the passenger vessel Conception which resulted in the tragic deaths of 34 people,” said Rear Admiral Brian Penoyer, the Eleventh District commander. “We discovered that there are a number of operational requirements that are impossible to verify during a dockside annual inspection. The Coast Guard has been and continues to take deliberate steps to improve the safety of small passenger vessels in order to prevent future loss of life.” Learn more.