Coast Guard, partner agencies team up for safe Sailabration on the water

BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard and partner agencies continue to coordinate their safety and security efforts as hundreds of boaters take to the water to participate in OpSail 2012 events in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor Saturday.

Navy, Coast Guard and federal, state and local partners came together as a unified command to support the celebration that marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

“The Coast Guard can’t do this alone,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jon Andrechik, the chief of the Incident Management Division for Coast Guard Sector Baltimore. “The knowledge, capabilities and teamwork of our partners have been critical in carrying out a safety and security mission of this scale.”

The Coast Guard and its partners are enforcing maritime safety and security zones, conducting patrols and ensuring the public remains safe throughout the celebration.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary, an all-volunteer force, provides a large part of the Coast Guard presence on the water helping to remind people to boat responsibly by wearing a life jacket, filing a float plan and not operating a vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Everyone is working together to get the job done,” said Philip Wentz, an Auxiliary operations officer for Coast Guard Sector Baltimore. “Each entity knows and trusts that the other is capable of doing their part.”

The partnership and collaboration among the personnel involved is critical to a successful mission.

“This Sailabration event has been an excellent demonstration of the unity between the Baltimore Police Department and federal, state and local agencies,” said Anthony Guglielmi, the director of public affairs for the Baltimore City Police Department. “Each organization has worked together seamlessly to ensure the safety of the public.”

Each participating agency provides critical expertise and capabilities to the unified safety and security efforts during an event of this magnitude.

“Interagency cooperation is an essential component of managing a large, complex event involving thousands of spectators at both maritime and land-based venues,” said Col. George F. Johnson, IV, the superintendent of the Maryland Natural Resources Police. “It allows organizers to leverage personnel and equipment from local, state, federal and private agencies to provide a safe and enjoyable event without stressing the resources of any single agency.”

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