Coast Guard personnel assist in reopening Haiti port

MIAMI – Crew members from the Coast Guard Cutter Oak, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Charleston, S.C., U.S. Navy Seabees and Navy divers reopened the port of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday with the placement of a second buoy for limited vessel traffic to one operational pier in the port.

The port, which is the country’s maritime shipping lifeline, opened one pier with ongoing efforts to open more capabilities. Crew members aboard the cutter Oak placed buoys marking the way for humanitarian aid to arrive from the sea.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - The buoy chain splashes into the water as the crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Oak set the second buoy in Port-Au-Prince Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010. The buoy was set to mark safe water as ships approach the APN Main Terminal pier. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandyn Hill.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - The buoy chain splashes into the water as the crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Oak set a buoy to mark safe water as ships approach the APN Main Terminal pier. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandyn Hill.

A combined effort of crews from the cutter Oak and the Coast Guard Maritime Transportation System Recovery Team to survey the harbor facilities of Port-au-Prince has allowed the Coast Guard to expedite the partial reopening of the port once piers have been made available and safe through ongoing recovery efforts.

Their continued efforts will identify any additional needs for navigational markers to ensure the safety of maritime aid arriving into Haiti.

To better ensure the safe operations of the port facilities in Port-au-Prince, Coast Guard Port Security Unit 307, a strategic security team from St. Petersburg, Fla., is scheduled to arrive in Port-au-Prince Saturday.

Coast Guard personnel will continue to help with ongoing port facility operations to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance.

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