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Guns on Coast Guard Vessels Trigger Protest

Reuters reported that machine-gun fire will puncture the calm of the Great Lakes if the U.S. Coast Guard follows through on its plan to set up firing ranges there, despite volleys of criticism fired by environmentalists, boaters and politicians. As part of its expanded responsibilities to police U.S. coastlines in the name of national security, the Coast Guard has mounted gas-powered machine guns on the decks of its patrol boats and cutters, capable of firing 600 rounds a minute. To train its seamen to fire the powerful weapons on the lakes' choppy waters, the Coast Guard proposed establishing 34 target ranges at least 5 miles offshore. But the Coast Guard now acknowledges the poorly-publicized plan -- which was quietly published in the federal register in August -- ignited an outcry in part because the agency failed to properly inform the media and the public. The Coast Guard halted the firing exercises in August and scheduled public hearings that are nearly complete, saying it will listen to public comment before deciding whether to proceed. Mayors on both sides of the border including Toronto's David Miller, Chicago's Richard Daley and Bradley have criticized the Coast Guard's proposal as ill-conceived and dangerous. Two years ago, Canada sanctioned the arming of Coast Guard vessels that would otherwise violate an 1817 treaty prohibiting armed vessels on the lakes.

Coast Guard Stops Vessel From Collision

Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) San Francisco directed three tugboats to help divert a 700-foot dry-dock barge from colliding with the San Francisco Bay Bridge today. At approximately 8 p.m. today a night watchman from Pier 70 in San Francisco noticed that the dry-dock vessel had broken loose and notified the Coast Guard. Upon notification, the Coast Guard directed three tug boats to intercept the adrift vessel.

EU NAVFOR, Seychelles Coastguard Cooperation

In the evening of December 6, approximately 250 nautical miles North West of Victoria Seychelles a pirate attack group was neutralized by EU NAVFOR and the Seychellois Coast Guard. On December 5th an EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft, stationed at the Seychelles, located a suspected pirate attack group with one mother skiff and two attack skiffs. EU NAVFOR French warship FS Floreal was tasked to close the group and the Seychellois Coast Guard also responded to the request by sending their

This Day in U.S. Coast Guard History - April 4

1912- President Taft recommended abolishing Revenue Cutter Service.  His actions led to the creation of the Coast Guard by merging the Revenue Cutter Service and the Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915.   1933- Navy airship USS Akron crashed off the Barnegat Lightship. The search employed over 20 Coast Guard vessels under Navy supervision.   1972- On 4 April 1972 BMC (later BMCM) Thomas D. McAdams became the first Coast Guardsmen to receive the new Coxswain insignia

Texas City Y Marine Casualty Hearing Closes: Results Later

The courtroom: Photo USCG

Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board investigators have closed a formal hearing in Galveston, that was held to gather facts that led to a March 22, 2014 collision and subsequent 168,000 gallon oil spill near the Texas City Dike. The purpose of the Coast Guard marine casualty investigation and formal board hearing is to examine the causes of a marine casualty, make recommendations to help avoid a similar incident, improve overall maritime transportation safety

USCG Establishes Diver Specialty

The Coast Guard diver rating and specialty was established Wednesday. Coast Guard members recognized as DV or DIV were presented a personalized certificate..jpg

  The Coast Guard announced Wednesday the establishment of the diver enlisted rating and corresponding chief warrant officer specialty. About 50 enlisted personnel and three chief warrant officers will initially transition to the Diver (DV) rating and Diving (DIV) specialty, respectively. The newly-minted divers received certificates signed by the commandant and the master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard at several locations throughout the service.

Tanker Restrictions in Place in Houston

Port of Houston facilities reopened to commercial truck traffic, but restrictions remained on ships in the Houston Ship Channel. Although the Coast Guard lifted daylight-only restrictions on vessel traffic Tuesday, draft restrictions kept big oil tankers out of the channel. Only vessels drawing less than 35 feet of water were allowed in. Final surveys taken of the channel were being completed late Tuesday, according to the Coast Guard vessel traffic safety office.

Coast Guard Responds to NY Plane Crash

The Coast Guard launched a multi-asset response on Jan. 15 when a passenger plane plunged into the Hudson River here. Upon initial notification, Coast Guard Sector New York launched a fleet of small rescue boats and the 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Ridley, based in Montauk. Once on scene, the crews distributed life jackets. Three helicopters from Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., and one from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., also launched

USCG Deploys KVH TracPhone V7 Satellite

In an effort to expand its communications capacity and take advantage of affordable, emerging commercial satellite services, the United States Coast Guard is in the process of deploying the TracPhone V7 and mini-VSAT Broadband service from KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) on its 110-ft and 225-ft cutters. Intended to replace older satellite communications systems and services, the KVH integrated antenna and service solution is now offering increased bandwidth, reduced operating costs

Safety Alert: Gulf of Oman Pirate Attack

Piracy patrol: Image credit NATO

The U.S. Navy Liaison Office (MARLO) in Bahrain has issued an alert following an attack by two skiffs on a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Oman, advises GAC. The attack is reported to have taken place on or about 280902Z FEB 2014 at the position 22:28N - 060:51.5E, GULF OF OMAN. The skiffs are reported to have each had 2-3 personnel onboard, some wearing masks. Ladders were sighted and the skiffs paralleled the vessel's course and speed.

Update: Whale-watching Vessel Sinks, Five Dead

Leviathan II (File photo: Jamies Whaling Station and Adventure Centres)

Five Britons were killed when a Canadian whale-watching boat sank on Sunday, and authorities were still searching on Monday for a sixth person feared drowned in the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of British Columbia.  

Greece Searches for Migrants off Lesbos

Greek coast guard searching for 38 migrants off Lesbos. Four children, two men and one woman drowned and 38 migrants were missing after their wooden boat sank north of the Greek island of Lesbos, the coast guard said on Thursday, as an extensive search operation continued for a second day.

Greenpeace Activists Divert Helsinki-bound Coal Ship

Alppila. Photo by ESL Shipping Ltd

 The environmental activist group Greenpeace managed to board and get a coal-carrying freighter on its way from St. Petersburg to change its course before arriving to Helsinki harbour.   A Greenpeace activist has scaled the 155m long bulk carrier, Alppila

US to Give Two Ships to Philippine Navy

President Barack Obama talks with Captain Vince Sibala on the bridge of the BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15), during a tour of the ship in Manila Harbor, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Following a visit aboard Philippine naval ship BRP Gregorio Del Pilar on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said the American government plans to transfer two ships to the Philippine Navy, bolstering what Obama called an “ironclad commitment” to the defense of treaty ally the

Philippine Ferry Sinks, 36 Dead

A ferry carrying 189 passengers and crew capsized off the central Philippines in heavy waves on Thursday, killing at least 36 people but the majority of those on board were rescued, the coast guard and police said. The MBCA Kim-Nirvana, a motorised outrigger with 173 passengers and 16 crew on

Great Lakes Shippers Want 'Float Down' to End


U.S. and Canadian vessel operators on the Great Lakes are urging the public to not participate in the Port Huron Float Down scheduled for August 16, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) and Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA) said in a joint press release.  

Boat Migrant Found Dead in Mediterranean, 354 Rescued

Rescuers found one migrant dead and saved 354 on a fishing boat in rough seas near the southwestern shore of Italy, the coast guard said on Monday.   The body was found on Sunday night, adding to the weekend's Mediterranean death toll after 49 people were found dead

Woman Missing From MSC Magnifica

MSC Magnifica Photo:  MSC Cruises

 According to local news, a female passenger is currently missing from MSC Cruises‘ MSC Magnifica. The Magnifica was sailing to Izmir, Turkey when the woman disappeared overboard.    The passenger, identified as Chinese

Emergency Response Guidebook Features DOT/PHMSA Updates

Image: Labelmaster

Essential Resource for Transportation or Handling Incidents Involving Hazardous Materials   Labelmaster offers the 2016 edition of the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) – a must have for anyone who handles or transports dangerous goods (hazardous materials)

Philadelphia Express Assist Distressed Cuban Rafters

Crowley-Managed Philadelphia Express Provides Assistance to Distressed Cuban Rafters near Key West

  The Crowley-managed, Philadelphia Express – a 3,237 TEU container ship ­– recently provided assistance to nine Cubans on a makeshift raft adrift near Key West, Fla.   As the vessel was steaming from Houston, Texas to Savannah, Ga

Containership Aids Distressed Cuban Rafters

Philadelphia Express (Photo: Crowley)

The Crowley-managed, Philadelphia Express – a 3,237 TEU containership – recently provided assistance to nine Cubans on a makeshift raft adrift near Key West, Fla. As the vessel was steaming from Houston, Texas to Savannah, Ga., crewmembers spotted the floating object with people aboard

Blue Whales Return to Barents Sea

Return of the blue whales

  Employees of the Institute of Sea Research spotted 17 species of blue whales in the Barents Sea in the area of ​​Svalbard. Animals returned to the region after a century of absence. On these meetings the giant cetaceans reported this summer, coast guard ships, and even cruise ships

Greece Recovers Bodies of Migrants off Lesbos

A baby, two children and a woman drowned on Thursday after their wooden boat and a coast guard vessel crashed during a migrant rescue operation off the island of Lesbos, the Greek coast guard said. The boat, which the coast guard said was old, sank after the crash and 31 persons were rescued

Four Migrants Drown Off Greek Island

Migrants & Refugees

  Four people, a woman and three children, drowned and one child was missing after their rubber boat capsized off a Greek island late on Friday, the Greek coast guard said. The coast guard said it has rescued 13 people and was searching for the missing child after the boat capsized off

Five Killed in Sinking of Whale-watching Boat

Leviathan II (File photo: Jamies Whaling Station and Adventure Centres)

Five Britons were killed when a Canadian whale-watching boat sank on Sunday, the British foreign secretary said on Monday. The boat, carrying 27 passengers, sank off the coast of British Columbia on Sunday afternoon, sparking a rescue effort by the Coast Guard, fisherman and private mariners

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