Coast Guard Accepts Rescue 21 System for Sector San Juan

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard accepted its Rescue 21 advanced command, control and communications system for Sector San Juan, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in a ceremony at Coast Guard Base San Juan here Tuesday.

The Coast Guard created Rescue 21 to better locate mariners in distress and save lives and property at sea and on navigable rivers.

As the maritime version of 9-1-1, Rescue 21 facilitates better communication and interoperability in emergency situations and provides communications coverage out to a minimum of 20 nautical miles off the coastal zone. It has advanced direction-finding capabilities and increased range, which helps Rescue 21 narrow search areas significantly. The system also helps identify hoax distress calls that can unnecessarily divert Coast Guard assets and manpower.

“With the delivery of Rescue 21, we now have a modern sustainable system that allows Coast Guard Watchstanders in Sector San Juan to not just hear those calling for help, but to determine their location, leading to a swift, coordinated response, including the ability to manage and respond to multiple distress calls,” said Capt. Drew W. Pearson, Sector San Juan commander.

“I am pleased to see the completion of the Rescue 21 remote facilities, the martime emergency system which will greatly assist the U.S. Coast Guard in its mission to protect and serve in the Caribbean,” said Congresswoman Donna Christensen, U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress.  “I was pleased to be a part of moving the project forward and I thank the U.S. Coast Guard for all that they do to keep our communities safe.”

“After an investment of over $9 million, Rescue 21 will allow for better response time, for better intelligence and for better use of the Coast Guard’s resources making them more effective and protecting the lives of our citizens as well as the 940 miles of coastline that surround us,” said Congressman Pedro Pierluisi, Resident Commissioner in Washington. “This is precisely what I have been asking all federal agencies to do. And just as I demand action in Congress, I must also praise the administration when it fulfills its duty to do right by my constituents.”

Capt. John Wood, Coast Guard Acquisition Directorate’s C4ISR program manager said Rescue 21 has enhanced mission execution and marine safety along the coasts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Additional remarks were delivered James Norton, General Dynamics C4 Systems vice president. General Dynamics C4 Systems was awarded the Rescue 21 production contract in September 2002.

Sector San Juan has 940 miles of Rescue 21 coverage, part of the 41,746 miles that so far cover the entire Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts of the continental U.S., the Great Lakes, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For more information about Rescue 21, please visit

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