Coast Guard Continues Red River Flood Rescues, Urges Caution to Boaters

FARGO, N.D. — Coast Guard crews recorded their 95th rescue yesterday after 6 days of flood response operations along the Red River.

The Coast Guard has become increasingly concerned with the number of recreational boaters attempting to transit the dangerous flood waters and has established a safety zone on the Red River from Wahpeton to Pembina that began Sunday, March 29, 2009. All vessel traffic, including canoes, are restricted from transiting the Red River except for search and rescue and law enforcement vessels. This order was placed in effect at 4:30 p.m. yesterday by the Coast Guard Captain of the Port.

“While we understand that some boaters may want to view their homes and communities,” said Capt. Steve Hudson, commander of Sector Upper Mississippi and captain of the port, “our priority is the safety of those individuals and the integrity of the levies that protect the communities. Wakes from these boats can damage those structures.”

The breakdown of Coast Guard assets is as follows:

  • 5 helicopters on scene with 8 air crews
  • 4 Disaster Response Teams (DART) onscene, 4 on standby
  • 7 Airboats
  • 2 Coast Guard Auxiliary communications trailer
  • 119 Coast Guard personnel

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