Coast Guard repatriates 119 Cubans to Cuba, Key West, Fla. The crews of Coast the Coast Guard Cutters Margaret Norvell and Raymond Evans repatriated 119 people to Bahia de Cabañas, Cuba, due to safety-of-life at-sea concerns, Jan. 9. The repatriations are a result of 12 separate migrant interdictions at sea in the south Florida Straits. In each instance, the Coast Guard helped secure the U.S. border and prevented perilous sea voyages from ending in tragedy. A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations flight crew reported to Coast Guard Sector Key West watchstanders a vessel approximately 20 miles west of Cay Sal, Bahamas. “Navigating the seas in a less than seaworthy vessel is dangerous and could result in loss of life," said Capt. Adam Chamie, Sector Key West commander. "Coast Guard crews and our local and federal law enforcement partners maintain an active presence with air and sea assets every day through the Florida Straits to help save lives by removing people from unsafe environments and deterring dangerous migrant voyages. We urge people not to take to the sea in unseaworthy vessels." Read more.
Coast Guard breaks ice in northern Michigan Matthew Anderson, lead vessel traffic management specialist at the Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie, Mich., said they currently have a cutter near Duluth, Minn., and have been out to Thunder Bay this season so far. “We have the Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay which is currently in Duluth,” said Anderson. “They have been working the west end of Lake Superior for the last week between Duluth, Superior, and a couple times to Thunder Bay.” The Coast Guard breaks ice to facilitate commerce as millions of dollars of goods transit particularly through the St. Mary’s River and the Straits of Mackinac. “We get reports every day from the shipping companies—what ships are expected in which ports—and we have to kind of manage what cutters we have available and put those in the ports as the ships are arriving,” said Anderson. “Right now, we have some ships heading into Green Bay, [Wisc.] We’ve sent the Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay there to prep the track in advance of their arrival.” Read more.
Snowbound campers rescued from Oregon mountain A MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector North Bend, Ore., assisted the Lane County Sheriff’s Department in rescuing two 19-year-old men, Jan. 1, near Dorena, Ore. The men were reported missing after failing to return Dec. 29., after hiking near Swastika Mountain about 32 miles east southeast of Eugene, Ore. The hikers reported no medical concerns. “These young men did a lot of things right to give themselves the best chance of being rescued,” said Lt. Maggie Champin, MH-65 aircraft commander, Sector North Bend. “By writing ‘SOS’ in the snow, staying near their vehicle and staying near logging roads, we were able to find them relatively quickly. We recommend hikers carry personal locator beacons while out in the back country.” Read more.
Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region brings awareness to dangers of colder water temperatures in Baltimore. Lt. Katherine Webb and Petty Officer 1st Class Donald Abey hosted a media event communicating the dangers of colder water temperatures and the precautions boaters should take to prevent injury or death, Dec. 15. As temperatures drop along the mid-Atlantic coast, the Coast Guard urges all boaters to prepare for the water temperature, rather than the air temperature. Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The average water temperature along the mid-Atlantic during the winter months is 53 degrees Fahrenheit, which can cause unconsciousness in about an hour, with an estimated survivability between one and six hours. View video of the cold water campaign here. Read more.