Coast Guard Increases Maritime Security

Tuesday, March 18, 2003
The Coast Guard has increased maritime security measures under Operation Liberty Shield. Operation Liberty Shield is a comprehensive national plan designed to increase protections for America’s citizens and infrastructure while maintaining the free flow of goods and people across our border with minimal disruption to our economy and way of life. Operation Liberty Shield is a multi-department, multi-agency, national-team effort. Hundreds of cutters, aircraft and small boats manned by thousands of Coast Guard active duty and reserve members are guarding the coast, ports and waterways. Some of the specific actions the Coast Guard has taken include: More Patrols - Security has been increased at major U.S. ports and waterways with more Coast Guard patrols by aircraft, ships and boats. More Escorts of Passenger Ships - The Coast Guard has increased its escorts of ferries and cruise ships. More Sea Marshals - Every high interest vessel arriving or departing from American ports will have armed Coast Guard Sea Marshals onboard, closely watching the ship’s crew and ensuring that it makes its port call safely. These merchant ships have cargoes, crewmember(s), or other characteristics that warrant closer examination. Selective Maritime Restrictions - The Coast Guard will enforce security zones in and around critical infrastructure sites in key ports. This information will be published and announced for those using U.S. waterways. The public can help the Coast Guard by reporting suspicious activity to their local Coast Guard unit or the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.

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