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Energy system upgrades including a combined heat and power (CHP) plant are expected to save a US Coast Guard academy over $2m per year.

The facility in New London, Connecticut is set to replace its 50-year-old heavy fuel oil-fired central plant with a gas-fired plant and a 1 MW CHP plant, as well as install two rooftop solar PV arrays, expand the central chiller plant and implement 20 additional energy conservation measures.

The project also includes maintenance, repair, and replacement for major equipment including the boiler, the CHP plant and the chiller plant to ensure energy savings are achieved. Utility Eversource Energy and renewables outfit Ameresco are partnering on the project.

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CLEVELAND, Mich. (WLUC) – The U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian partners worked together to medically evacuate a 53-year-old man from a merchant vessel in northern Lake Superior, Thursday.

The U.S. Coast Guard received a call at about 4:15 a.m. from the merchant vessel James R. Barker requesting a medevac of a 53-year-old male crew member who was exhibiting symptoms of a medically urgent nature and was recommended by a U.S. Coast Guard flight surgeon to be evacuated to a trauma center.

The vessel was determined to be in Canadian waters. Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Trenton assumed command and requested air support from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Michigan in order to evacuate the crew member in a timely manner.

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Petty Officer 2nd Drew Allen and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jordan Kuehl perform field sobriety tests on a boater during Seattle’s Seafair, Aug. 5, 2017. The Coast Guard, along with local law enforcement agencies, engaged the public to help ensure a safe boating experience and to minimize potential dangers associated with driving a boat under the influence

SEATTLE – Coast Guard personnel, working with local and state law enforcement agencies, saw an almost 70% increase in arrests on Lake Washington during the Seafair events August 4 through August 6, 2017.

Forty-four arrests were conducted this year compared to last year’s 26 arrests, with this year’s including 43 arrests for operating a vessel while under the influence and one for reported possession of cocaine.

Safety enforcement operations on Lake Washington started on Thursday and concluded Sunday evening. Approximately 25 assets were in operation throughout the weekend events, including 12 Coast Guard vessels operated day and night by crews from Station Seattle, Maritime Safety and Security Team 91101, Maritime Forces Protection Unit Bangor, Sector Puget Sound Boarding Team, Coast Guard Cutter Sea Lion, Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Also on the water were law enforcement assets from Seattle Harbor Police, Mercer Island Police, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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STURGEON BAY (WLUK) — People are celebrating the nautical history and culture of Door County with a salute to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Maritime Week is underway in Sturgeon Bay.

Even moored to the dock at Graham Park, Joe Miller says the 240-foot long Mackinaw is impressive.

“I am on leave from the Coast Guard. I wish I was on that. It’s nice. It’s new, and it’s nice,” said Joe Miller, U.S. Coast Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard ice breaker is in town as part of Maritime Week in Sturgeon Bay. The Door County Maritime Museum is coordinating the event.

“Maritime Week is to celebrate the heritage of Door County, and all those that have come before us, and all those who are active now, who are really making a difference in our community,” said Amy Paul, Door County Maritime Museum Executive Director.

Sturgeon Bay is one of 20 communities designated as an official Coast Guard city, and the only one in Wisconsin. And at the end Canal Road, Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay has been part of the community for more than a century.

“I’ve been in Sturgeon Bay for a little over five years,” said Andrew Michaels, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer.

Michaels says a total of about 30 personnel from all over the country, man the station 24-7.

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LAKE OF THE OZARKS – U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 085-03-06, at the Lake of the Ozarks, recently had a change in leadership.

Due to health reasons, former Flotilla Commander (FC) James Cameron officially stepped down from his post on Saturday, July 1, 2017. Vice Flotilla Commander, VFC, Tex Rabenau filled in as Interim FC until the position could be filled, but he officially took the position on Wednesday, July 19. A new commander is elected every October. Al Becton is Vice Flotilla Commander.

“I am excited to be at the helm of the unit,” Rabenau said. He brings experience and water rescue knowledge from his previous experience in the fire and rescue service.

Established by Congress in 1939, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary’s motto is Semper Paratus (Always Ready). There are 30,000 auxiliary members serving our nation and our communities in 1,000 local units. The auxiliary contributes more than $2 million annually to classrooms, at the ramp and pier, and they operate 2,250 vessels, 180 aircraft, and 1,700 radio facilities on our nations waterways.

The USCG Auxiliary has no law enforcement authority on the Lake of the Ozarks, however, they participate in all operations that the US Coast Guard has, except for direct military and law enforcement operations. The USCG (not auxiliary) from Sector Upper Mississippi often patrol the Lake of the Ozarks and they have federal authority. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is the main law enforcement authority on the Lake of the Ozarks.

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Imagine your childhood bathtub playtime magnified into large model ships plowing through an ice-filled tank with a length that rivals the Statue of Liberty’s height. That 300-foot ice tank in the Canadian city of St. John’s is currently helping the U.S. Coast Guard conduct tests of different ship designs as the United States plans to end a 40-year lull in building new heavy icebreakers.

The U.S. Coast Guard aims to build four heavy polar icebreakers as replacements for its single aging heavy icebreaker. Such icebreakers that can push or ram through thick sea ice and are necessary in performing patrol, resupply and emergency rescue missions near the Arctic or Antarctica. That is why the U.S. Coast Guard turned to the second-largest ice tank in the world owned by the National Research Council of Canada to carry out some preliminary test runs of icebreaker designs in miniature. The Canadian ice tank—295 feet long by 39 feet wide by 10 feet deep—can replicate sea ice conditions ranging from regular ice sheets to deep ice ridges, all based on decades worth of studies and research careers built upon figuring out how to model ice.

“This tank is enclosed in a great big freezer, an insulated room with a very large capacity refrigeration system which allows us to take the air temperature in that room down to minus 20 degrees Celsius,” says Jim Millan, director of research at the National Research Council (NRC) Canada. “What we’re trying to do is not only mimic the ships, but also the environment.”

In May 2017, the NRC ice tank carried out its first test runs for the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security based on a prior partnership agreement. But getting ice tank testing just right matters for much more than the U.S. Coast Guard’s future icebreaker fleet. It matters when a military wants to know if a nuclear submarine can punch through Arctic pack ice from below when it needs to surface. It matters for countries and corporations that want to operate ice-resistant oil rigs or generate power from offshore wind turbines in Arctic waters. And it matters for the Arctic ports and towns that have piers or wharves sticking out into icy waterways.

A Song of Making Ice

Much hard work goes into replicating Arctic sea ice conditions in the ice tank. Everything must be scaled down in size and strength. For example, some of the thickest Arctic ice sheets up to 8 feet thick would be represented by an ice sheet just 3.2 inches thick in a 1:30 scale model test.

The NRC researchers typically start out by chilling the water to zero degrees Celsius and spraying a fine mist over the entire surface of the long ice tank tank, Millan says. That mist allows ice crystals to form in the -20 degrees Celsius air and fall onto the surface of the water to act as “seeds” for larger ice crystals to grow. Eventually the process creates an ice sheet with a fine structure that has thin needles of ice going all the way down through the sheet.

Next, the ice sheet needs to be softened so that the ice strength is roughly equivalent in scale to the pushing power of the model icebreaker ships. Otherwise the model icebreakers might simply fail to push or ram through the ice and simply bounce off. The researchers blast the surface of the ice sheet with heat to soften the ice and alter the grain structure in a way similar to how fire is used to temper glass or steel.

Real-life friction is replicated by a special paint applied to the model ships that gives them a “slightly rough finish” rather than coming out like a shiny new car from the factory. That’s because a full-size icebreaker vessel would likely have a rougher hull that might involve rust or scraped surfaces. Those friction factors can mean the icebreaker would need more power to push through an ice sheet.

One of the most work-intensive ice tank tests involves trying to replicate an icebreaker’s ability to ram through sea ice ridges. Such ridges form in nature when two ice sheets push together and create ridge that both rises up and has even greater depth below the surface of the water. Sometimes such sea ice ridges can grow to about 65 feet thick. In the NRC facility, replicating the ice ridges requires a group of people go out onto the ice tank with saws to create a crack in the ice sheet. Broken pieces of ice get dumped into the crack and refrozen in order to roughly form the triangular shape of an ice ridge.

Why Ice Tank Testing Matters

The NRC ice tank previously helped test designs for the U.S. Coast Guard’s existing heavy and medium icebreakers, as well as icebreaker designs for the Canadian Coast Guard. The actual performance of the full-size ships has helped validate the ice tank’s capability to predict their performance with the smaller model ships. So that validation provides confidence in the current ice tank tests intended to shape the future U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker fleets.

NRC researchers have been running the icebreaker designs through a number of different ice tank tests. One test involves having the model icebreakers push straight through the ice sheet in a straight line. Another test sees how well the designs perform in busting through the miniature ice ridges. A third test involves seeing how tightly the model icebreaker can turn in place—far from an easy task when wedged between solid sheets of ice in either the ice tank or in real life. Real icebreakers must keep carry out a “star turn” by repeatedly backing up and pushing forward a little to create room in the surrounding ice. Millan compares the maneuver to “watching someone who can’t drive well turn around in the road.”

The National Research Council of Canada, the United States Coast Guard, United States Navy, and the United States Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate are collaborating to replace the Coast Guard’s polar icebreaker fleet. Credit: National Research Council Canada

The National Research Council of Canada, the United States Coast Guard, United States Navy, and the
United States Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate are collaborating
to replace the Coast Guard’s polar icebreaker fleet. Credit: National Research Council Canada

Such testing seems likely to take on new urgency as both the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards attempt to replace their decades-old icebreakers with newer and more capable ships. A chorus of scientific and national security experts have warned that the U.S. in particular will need to replace and expand upon its existing icebreaker fleet as a warming climate leads to ongoing Arctic ice melt and increased ship traffic in northern waters.

Icebreakers are needed to help scientists study the ongoing effects of climate change in the Arctic and Antarctic. But energy companies, fishing fleets and cruise ship lines may also increasingly depend upon icebreakers to pave the way as they attempt to navigate new Arctic waterways that remain strewn with hazardous icy obstacles. As a sign of the times, a Finnish icebreaker recently traversed the Northwest Passage in record time.

Three Pillars of Icebreaker Testing

The most realistic way to test icebreakers involves taking an icebreaker ship out for a voyage and seeing how it performs. But there are downsides to that approach. First, not many countries can afford to spare expensive icebreakers simply to perform experimental test runs, which means engineers and ship designers must often make do with data collected from real-life icebreaker missions.

Second, no country would likely justify sending an icebreaker ship and its human crew into the path of extreme and potentially dangerous sea ice conditions—scenarios that can be replicated safely and much more cheaply with model ships in an ice tank. Third, researchers cannot control for the ice conditions involved in real-life sea trials as opposed to the more highly-controlled experimental settings of an ice tank.

A more popular choice for testing icebreaker designs involves using computer simulations. Such computer modeling can safely and cheaply replicate how icebreaker ships might perform in many different sea ice conditions. Even better, researchers have perfect control over the experimental conditions they want to test.

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3.1 tons of drugs seized off Eastern Pacific Ocean

PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. – The U.S. Coast Guard offloaded about 3.1 tons of cocaine Monday in Port Everglades.

Authorities said the drugs are worth an estimated $85 million in wholesale value and were seized in international waters off the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The drugs were seized during interdictions made by the Coast Guard cutters Escanaba and Decisive.

“The offload today represents the combined efforts of Escanaba’s crew, and those of our partners and allies,” said Cmdr. Michael Turdo, commanding officer of the Escanaba. “Stopping the illicit flow of drugs to our shores not only keeps them off our street, but also keeps money from getting to these criminal organizations.”

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Adm. Paul Zukunft, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, hosted the commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, Mr. Jeffery Hutchinson, in a one-day “Summit” on Wednesday at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sector Field Office located in Grand Haven.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Canadian Coast Guard share a long history of cooperation in numerous missions across their shared maritime border and the Summit provided a great opportunity for both organizations to continue to strengthen that cooperation.

During the Summit, senior representatives from each organization discussed issues specific to executing responsibilities to prepare for and respond to oil and hazardous substance events under the auspices of their bilateral Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan. In addition, the group provided updates on joint initiatives specific to the Arctic, enhancing shipping safety and security, and enhancing cooperation with the critical Indigenous populations of the U.S. and Canada.

Hutchinson stated that, “The Canadian Coast Guard and United States Coast Guard have a long history of working hand-in-hand to protect our shared coastlines. The economies of both countries rely heavily ‎on the safe passage of goods through our waters. Updating of the Joint Marine Contingency Plan to reflect today’s environment is a demonstration of our shared and ongoing commitment to the safety of mariners at sea and the protection of our waters.”

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