Coast Guard crews modernize aids to navigation in Tanapag Harbor, Saipan

TANAPAG HARBOR, Saipan – The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Guam, completed a recent modernization of Saipan’s aids to navigation.

The Sequoia deployed a dive team to inspect and repair five buoys.

“The dive team really increases the efficiency of Sequoia’s aids to navigation maintenance operation by allowing multiple buoys to be serviced at the same time,” said Lt. Alex Buchler, the Sequoia’s dive team leader.

Mariners of Tanapag Harbor now have brighter lights and more vibrant buoys to guide their safe transit. The crew replaced eight aging buoys with new hulls and upgraded the old-fashioned lighting system with new light emitting diode (LED) technology.

The old lighting system, which utilized lead acid batteries, a solar charging panel, and incandescent light bulbs, were removed and replaced with self contained LED lanterns. The LED lanterns offer greater visibility and have a longer lifespan resulting in a safer channel that requires less maintenance.

“With the new technology on the buoys, it is important to report any discrepancies with the aids to navigation to the nearest Coast Guard unit,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Salas, the Sequoia’s commanding officer. “We’re committed to providing a safe waterway to mariners and keeping the navigation system working.”

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