A United States Coast Guard Defender Class boat outfitted with a 7.62 mm machine gun accompanied ferry boats plying the waters between San Francisco and Alameda last week. Since the terrorist attacks in Belgium on the Coast Guard has been randomly escorting ferries on the bay. Petty Officer 2nd Class Barry Bena said that the escorts by the Coast Guard Island-based Maritime Safety and Security Team are tied to the March 22 terror attacks in Belgium and are purely preventative.
Alameda was designated a Coast Guard City, one of 12 in the nation, in 2006. Many Coast Guard families live on the Island and Coast Guard Island, a part of Alameda. These service members aren’t receiving paychecks during the government shutdown, yet they are still out there working to keeping Americans safe. For some, especially those with kids, things are getting pretty tough. The East Bay Coast Guard Spouses have begun a drive to collect items in need to take some of the pressure off.
A Coast Guard rescue swimmer teamed up with a crew from an Alameda Fire Department (AFD) rescue boat to assist 16 Dragon Boat rowers to safety last Saturday. The rowers’ vessel took on water and ran aground some 50 yards north of Coast Guard Island.
Around 11:30 a.m., AFD crewmembers notified the Coast Guard that they noticed the Dragon Boat aground off the north side of Coast Guard Island. AFD informed the Coast Guard that the water was too shallow for its rescue boat to approach the grounded boat.