Coast Guard consolidates two stations in Minnesota and Michigan

Cleveland – The Coast Guard has consolidated two seasonal stations on the Great Lakes. Consolidating these seasonal stations will not affect the ability of the multi-asset, multi-agency search-and-rescue system across the Great Lakes to respond to emergencies or increase risk to the boating public.

Stations North Superior and Holland have been seasonally staffed between Memorial Day and Labor Day since 2018. Station Holland averaged about 24 cases per year since 2010. Lake Michigan averaged between 600 and 700 cases over that period. Station Small North Superior has averaged less than one case per year over the last 10 years. The Great Lakes in total averages around 2,000 cases each year.

“We would not consolidate these stations if we thought it would increase the risk to boaters or the maritime industry,” said Lt. Paul Rhynard, public affairs officer for the Ninth Coast Guard District. “This decision was made after careful research and with the safety of the public as our top priority. Modern boats, aircraft and strong partnerships with other search-and-rescue agencies allow us to eliminate redundancies and ensure the best use of limited resources.”

The Coast Guard conducted a study of its laydown and historical search-and-rescue trends. Annual Coast Guard search-and-rescue caseloads have decreased from approximately 33,000 cases per year in 2004 to approximately 15,000 in 2019, a reduction of over 50 percent.

No other stations have been identified for consolidation at this time.

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