Coast Guard, Sheriff Dept. Sign Agreement

Friday, May 16, 2008

The U.S. Coast Guard and Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) signed a memorandum of agreement on Monday, May 12, 2008.  The agreement delineates the specific responsibilities of each agency when responding to maritime incidents in Orange County, Calif.

"The purpose of this mutual assistance agreement is to formally solidify the work we already do together in Orange County waters," said Capt. Paul E. Wiedenhoeft, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach who also serves as the Captain of the Port.

The Sheriff's Department and Coast Guard share jurisdiction in many areas including enforcement of boating regulations and protection of life, environment, and property. 

The Coast Guard has an 87-foot patrol boat the Coast Guard cutter Narwhal stationed in Corona Del Mar.  Both agencies have joined forces in recent months to conduct law enforcement in Newport Harbor.

"This interagency agreement will assist in efforts to fortify maritime security with the expansion of awareness, education and outreach to Orange County harbor communities.  It is consistent with the goals set forth by the Department of Homeland Security's Small Vessel Security Strategy" said Capt. Deana Bergquist, OCSD Harbor Patrol Division.

The agreement also strengthens the sharing of intelligence information and coordination of communications between the agencies when responding to a serious maritime incident.

It was signed by Capt. Paul E. Wiedenhoeft for the U.S. Coast Guard, and Assistant Sheriff, Acting as Sheriff Jack Anderson and Capt. Deana Bergquist for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

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