Coast Guard Launches First Response Assets after Hurricane Ike

KATY, Texas – The U.S. Coast Guard has launched its first air assets and crews into the areas hit by hurricane Ike, Saturday, Sept. 13.

The Coast Guard, in conjunction with the Texas Air National Guard, Texas Task Force 1, and the California Air National Guard, has rescued 103 people and nine pets to date.

Earlier this morning, assets and crews which had been prepositioned before the storm at the following locations were ordered into the area.

From Air Station Corpus Christi:

* five HH-65C helicopters

* one Falcon jet

From Air Stations New Orleans and Mobile:

* four HH-60s

* six HH-65s

The Coast Guard’s number one priority is search and rescue. The crew on board the Falcon jet will do a first post-storm overflight assessment and serve as command and control. Meanwhile, the helicopters are ready and prepared for search and rescue operations. The Coast Guard will focus on environmental protection and reopening the Port of Houston-Galveston as quickly as possible.

The Coast Guard is working with our federal, state and local partner agencies to respond to the effects of Hurricane Ike. “Every Coast Guardsman is dedicated to assisting people in distress, protecting the environment and opening the port as quickly as possible. This is an ‘All Hands on deck’ evolution,” said Capt. William Diehl, Sector Houston-Galveston Commander. “All emergency workers are trained, prepared and are actively engaged in this operation.”

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