Coast Guard Resident Inspection Office, Boat Forces Detachment in St. Croix inaugurate new facilities

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ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands — The Coast Guard officially announced Friday the move of the Coast Guard Resident Inspection Office and Boat Forces Detachment in St. Croix to 5090 Estate Solitude in Christiansted, during an Open House and Ribbon Cutting inaugurating a newly leased facility from where the units will be conducting and supporting Coast Guard operations in the island.

Capt. Drew W. Pearson, Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan made the announcement in the company of Donna Christensen, U.S. Virgin Island’s Delegate to Congress, who served as the invited guest speaker and honorary ribbon cutter for the event.

Congresswoman Donna Christensen addresses members of the press and invited guests during the inauguration of Coast Guard Resident Inspection Office and Boat Forces facilities Jan. 24, 2014 in Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.  To the far right is Raymond Williams, U.S. Virgin Island Lieutenant General's Office Chief of Staff, and to the far right is Capt. Drew W. Pearson, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan

Congresswoman Donna Christensen addresses members of the press and invited guests during the inauguration of Coast Guard Resident Inspection Office and Boat Forces facilities Jan. 24, 2014 in Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

“Having our Coast Guard forces collocated in St. Croix allows us greater access to better serve and answer the needs of mariners, boaters and our partners on the island,” said Capt. Drew W. Pearson, Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan. “This new location reduces Coast Guard response times to Search and Rescue and Law Enforcement cases and expands our ability to execute other Coast Guard missions in the area as we continue our collective efforts to protect the safety and security of citizens in St. Croix and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

“I welcome this facility on behalf of the people of St .Croix ,” said Donna Christensen, U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress. “The increased boat safety, search and rescue operations and ability to interdict contraband on its way to St Croix is important to us, but also important is the increased visibility of the Coast Guard in the community. I thank Capt. Pearson and the entire Seventh Coast Guard District for responding to our requests for increased assets in the Virgin Islands. Their presence has already begun to pay off.”

Coast Guard Resident Inspection Office and Boat Forces Detachment St. Croix personnel moved into the 5,000 square-foot facility comprised of office space, a boat maintenance shop, an armory, storage space and parking for customers. The governmental lease also provides temporary pier space for two 29-foot Response Boat Small II generation boats.

Coast Guard Resident Inspection Office personnel routinely perform all Coast Guard Marine Safety operational functions in the island ranging from and not limited to Small Passenger Vessel (T- Boat) inspections, Port State Control boarding’s on foreign freight vessels, tankers and cargo ships. Resident Inspection Office personnel also respond to and investigate pollution and marine casualty cases, conduct waterfront federal regulated facility and container inspections, and manage the islands navigable waterways. Resident Inspection Office St. Croix’s deep-draft boarding’s are concentrated on product, Liquefied Petroleum Gas and chemical tankers, that off-load to and load from the HOVENZA storage terminal on the island’s southern coast.

Boat Forces St. Croix personnel serve as a detachment of Coast Guard Boat Station San Juan. The unit is comprised of two 29-foot Response Boat Small II generation boats which carry out Search and Rescue, Homeland Security and Law Enforcement operations, which include, Drug/Migrant Interdiction, Fisheries enforcement and recreational boating safety education. Boat Station San Juan also conducts escorts of cruise ships and high interest commercial cargo vessels entering and departing St. Croix.

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