Coast Guard Ships Offer Tours DuringCoast Guard Festival

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutters Mackinaw and Biscayne Bay will make their official entrance into the Grand River, Monday, marking the beginning of a busy and exciting weekend at the 2008 Coast Guard Festival.

The Parade of Ships will begin at 1 p.m., Monday. Visiting ships will moor at designated positions along Escanaba Park, adjacent to the Grand Haven Coast Guard Station, here.

The 240-foot Mackinaw (WLBB-30), arriving from Cheboygan, Mich., is a one-of-a-kind icebreaker and buoy tender that replaced the World War II-era Mackinaw (WAGB-83). Mackinaw’s primary missions are maritime homeland security, ice breaking, maintenance of navigational aids, law enforcement, marine environmental protection and search-and-rescue.

The 140-foot Biscayne Bay (WTGB-104), arriving from St. Ignace, Mich., is an icebreaking tug. Biscayne Bay keeps the Great Lakes shipping routes open during the winter months.

Each of the ships will be available for public tours, at various times, from Monday through Saturday. A schedule is provided below, although all times are subject to change.

Due to heightened security concerns, additional safety measures will be in effect this year. The Coast Guard is committed to making the public’s experience on board these cutters a pleasant one and asks for cooperation and patience with these requirements:

1. There will be no open house available. All tour groups will be escorted.
2. No purses, backpacks, coolers or bags of any type will be permitted on board.\

For more information, contact Lt. j.g. Greg Hall, Sector Field Office Grand Haven Public Affairs, at (616) 850-2542.

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