Coast Guard, City of Harbor Beach discuss changes to local Coast Guard operations

25 Harbor BeachHARBOR BEACH, Mich. — Representatives with the U.S. Coast Guard, City of Harbor Beach, and Harbor Beach response agencies met in Harbor Beach Friday to discuss a Coast Guard proposal to optimize its response capabilities by adjusting how it operates Coast Guard Station Harbor Beach, starting as early as the fall of 2016.

Under the proposed plan, Station Harbor Beach will remain staffed with response crews during the summer months, and will operate and respond from its parent unit in Port Huron, Michigan, when seasonal operations are suspended. Built into the plan is flexibility for the seasonal station to begin operating in early spring or into late fall when necessary, and to resume operations if needed during special events.

Station Harbor Beach’s search and rescue operations will be fully staffed during the summer of 2016, and the proposed changes will be put into effect as early as the fall of 2016.

“We want people to know that we’ll still be on the water when they are, providing the same service to the boating community,” said Chief Petty Officer Michael Thayer, officer in charge of Station Harbor Beach. “Although our crews may not be operating from Harbor Beach year round, they will continue to serve this community.”

“Station Harbor Beach is not closing,” said Capt. Scott Lemasters commander of Coast Guard Sector Detroit. “The combination of improved technology and efficient air and surface assets have improved search and rescue response times. Advancement in communications allows the Coast Guard to provide services with greater agility and efficiency which are ongoing considerations as we assess the best way to provide service to our boating communities. These proposed changes will create a more resilient response network of Coast Guard assets without decreasing our ability to protect the maritime public.”

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