Skip to main content

USCG: Forward operating locations save lives

St. Paul Island, Alaska, on Nov. 6, 2010. Abou...
St. Paul Island, Alaska, on Nov. 6, 2010. About 500 people live on the island 775 miles west of Anchorage in the Bering Sea. The Alaska National Guard brought Christmas to the island early Nov. 6 as part of its 54th annual Operation Santa Claus outreach to the state's remote communities. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill) (Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Posted by PA1 Sara Francis, Thursday, September 13, 2012

On Sept. 12, a Kodiak–based Coast Guard helicopter crew helped save the life of a fisherman suffering from heart attack symptoms in a remote area of the Bering Sea. A crucial factor in this successful operation was the availability of the forward operating location on St. Paul Island, where the Coast Guardsmen delivered the fisherman to commercial medevac services for further transport to Anchorage for advanced medical care. St. Paul Island, is one of four volcanic islands located in the Bering Sea between the United States and Russia, and is more than 650 miles from Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak.

“It’s a six hour transit from Kodiak plus an hour refueling stop from the time of an initial response to any mariners in distress, critical hours in most situations,” said Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander Coast Guard 17th District. “Safety is always my priority, without this location we could put our crews in harm’s way by making them travel greater distances to another location.”

Since the Loran-C station on St. Paul Island closed in 2009, a Coast Guard civilian employee has maintained the facility during the months when no forward-deployed helicopter crews are in residence. In the last two years, the Coast Guard saved the lives of nine mariners by either launching from St. Paul Island or transporting patients to emergency medical services there. They are also strategically placed to conduct additional Coast Guard statutory missions.

Two rescue helicopters from Air Station Kodiak will be forward deployed to remote St. Paul Island in January, but for now air crews will be dispatched from Air Station Kodiak or from a helicopter capable cutter to respond to emergencies.

During a period of budget constraints affecting all areas of public spending, the relatively modest expense of keeping up the facilities on St. Paul Island pays off in terms of increased range, faster response, improved safety margins for Coast Guard aircrews and most importantly saves lives. This is also true for the forward operating locations in Cold Bay, Cordova and Barrow.

“Alaskans can have confidence in their Coast Guardsmen who make the most of widespread resources to support the nation’s richest fishing grounds by protecting our mariners in these dangerous and remote environments,” said Ostebo.

Popular posts from this blog

Crabbers get a boost in bairdi Tanner quotas

LAINE WELCH Image via Wikipedia FISHERIES Published: November 7th, 2009 10:10 PM Last Modified: November 7th, 2009 10:12 PM KODIAK -- Kodiak and Alaska Peninsula crabbers got some good news last week -- bigger catch quotas for bairdi Tanner crab, a mid-January fishery important to local economies. Bairdi are the larger cousins of the better-known opilio Tanners, or snow crab. The bairdi boost stems from a big pulse of new crab recruits that biologists have been tracking for years. "That is what's fueling the increase in the harvest this year. We're just getting the very beginning of that year class," said.........

Danish commandos 'monitoring hippies' on Arctic offshore rig #artcticloons

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr Alaska Dispatch | May 31, 2011 Armed Danish commandos have (possibly) been summoned to monitor Earth-loving "hippies" clinging to the underbelly of an Arctic deepwater oil rig  off the coast of Greenland , sources say. The environmental non-governmental group  Greenpeace  has published  statements and  video  showing its activists aboard two ships that are attempting to "interfere" with oil exploration going on in the Davis Strait, 100 miles west of Greenland. This business has in turn prompted the Kingdom of Denmark to launch two ships and a few helicopters to monitor the Greenpeace interference. The  Leiv Eriksson  is the source of all this Arctic bait and switch. British oil company  Cairn Energy  is attempting to drill four wells at depths of at least 5,000 feet this summer in "iceberg-strewn sea" with the 53,000-ton offshore oil rig, which has made its way to Arctic waters after a month of failed attempts by Green

Tender "Lonestar" rolls over in the Mouth of the Igushik River (fishery closed)

The Tender "Lonestar" has Capsized in the Mouth of the Igushik River 2:00 PM SUN JUNE 30, 2013 By MIKE MASON A large vessel, used to transport sockeye salmon from the fishing grounds to a processing facility, has capsized in the mouth of one of the major salmon producing rivers in Bristol Bay. KDLG’s Mike Mason has the details.... SUNDAY, JUNE 30, 2013 Trouble in Bristol Bay The Alaska Department of Fish and Game shut down the local setnet fishery after a salmon tender, the Lonestar, sank this morning in the mouth of the Igushik River....... Coast Guard responding to partially submerged vessel near Dillingham, Alaska Date: June 30, 2013 District 17 Public Affairs Detachment Kodiak KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard is responding to the sinking of a fishing vessel near the mouth of the Igushik River, Sunday. The Coast Guard is de