Coast Guard showcases safety, security for San Francisco Fleet Week 2012

Pacific Southwest Coast Guard NewsSAN FRANCISCO – The “Great White Fleet” was sent around the world by President Theodore Roosevelt from December 16, 1907 to February 22, 1909. It consisted of 16 battleships of the Atlantic Fleet and various smaller vessels. The hulls of the battleships were painted white except for the gilded scrollwork on their bows. The Atlantic Fleet battleships later became known as the “Great White Fleet.”

The current Fleet Week commenced in 1981 under San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein, with the purpose of honoring and thanking the men and women of the United Forces for their contributions to the city of San Francisco and abroad.

This week’s confluence of major events in San Francisco Bay is a rare opportunity for boaters and citizens to explore and enjoy the area’s vibrant maritime culture, but it also holds the potential for accidents and conflicts that the Coast Guard and other emergency response agencies are working hard to avoid. While some Bay area Coast Guard personnel will have time to enjoy the annual salute to our nation’s naval forces, most local crews will be on duty maintaining port security and keeping boaters and the public safe.

“We enjoy a robust and very diverse commercial and recreational maritime area,” said Capt. Cynthia Stowe, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. “In order for everyone to have full access to the Bay, we must ensure all activities on the water are conducted safely and securely. This is especially important during major maritime events like Fleet Week with a parade of military vessels and air shows, and America’s Cup racing, all of which can draw a huge fleet of spectator vessels to vie for space with the normal flow of commercial vessel traffic. Informed boaters exercising safe practices will reduce the likelihood of accidents and add to overall safety.”

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