Alaska Coast Guard units prepare for winter operations

Coast Guard Alaska NewsKODIAK, Alaska – Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews are preparing to deploy to forward operating locations in St. Paul and Cold Bay in preparation for the upcoming winter fisheries Monday.

The FOL in Cold Bay is scheduled to begin operations Oct. 15, for the start of the red king crab fishery. The FOL in St. Paul will open in January for the Opilio crab season.

Air Station Kodiak utilizes four FOLs throughout the state of Alaska to cut down response times to mariners in distress. In the summer, helicopter crews are deployed to Cordova and Barrow.

“Having forward operating locations in place around Alaska during peak seasons of maritime activity, greatly reduces the time it takes to respond to emergencies and allows us to save lives,” said Capt. Daniel Travers, chief of incident management, Coast Guard 17th District.

The FOLs in St. Paul and Cold Bay ensures the Coast Guard can assist fishermen working in and around Bristol Bay, the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands.

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