Coast Guard Holds Interagency Boat Fire Drill On San Francisco Bay

SAN FRANCISCO – The Coast Guard, along with the San Francisco Fire Department, the San Francisco Police Department, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary, held a joint exercise on water side fire response today. The drill demonstrated interagency coordination and team response to maritime emergencies.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel “Sunrise,” outfitted with a smoke machine, simulated a large-scale vessel fire. The Coast Guard responded with an HH-65 Dolphin Helicopter, which would normally respond to remove people from the water in a real emergency. A 41-foot Utility Boat from Station San Francisco arrived on scene, and the boat crew rescued a mock victim from the smoking boat. While the San Francisco Police Department’s Marine Unit stood by to assist with the rescue of passengers, the San Francisco Fire Department Fireboat “Phoenix” moved in to douse the vessel fire with its powerful water cannons.

The Coast Guard maintains a consistent working relationship with its maritime partners to ensure preparedness for a real emergency. Drills such as the event today allow all units involved to practice a coordinated response.

The Coast Guard reminds boaters to ensure they keep all navigation and safety equipment in proper working condition, and to always keep properly fitting lifejackets onboard for all passengers. A few moments spent at the dock preparing for a possible emergency can help lessen the chance of an actual incident while on the water.

Boaters are encouraged to get a Vessel Safety Check, provided free of charge by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The trained Auxiliarists can make safety recommendations for recreational vessels, and are available to discuss safe boating practices. More information on Vessel Safety Checks and boating safety issues can be found at http://uscgboating.org/ and http://www.vesselsafetycheck.org/.

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