Coast Guard to enforce security zone on Willamette River, participate in Rose Festival

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 9, 2004)--A Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team boat crew plies the waters of the Willamette River in downtown Portland during the arrival of the Rose Festival fleet Wednesday afternoon. The Seattle based unit is patrolling the waterfront during the week long festival to protect visiting Navy, Coast Guard and Canadian Naval vessels. USCG photo by PAC Keith Alholm

A Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team boat crew plies the waters of the Willamette River in downtown Portland during the arrival of the Rose Festival fleet during the 2004 Parade of Ships.  USCG photo by PAC Keith Alholm

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Coast Guard will be enforcing a security zone along the Willamette River between the Hawthorne and Steel Bridges, in support of the Rose Festival and Fleet Week, Wednesday, through Monday.

The security zone is set in place to protect the various vessels that will be moored along the waterfront near Tom McCall Park, as well as, the visiting public.

A lane will be established for human-powered craft, such as kayaks and paddle-boards, which will allow those watercraft to transit the zone without a dedicated escort.

The Coast Guard is scheduled to participate in several Rose Festival events including offering public tours, a search and rescue demonstration and the parade of ships. This event allows the public a rare opportunity to meet service members and learn first hand about the value, capability, and missions of the Coast Guard.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, based out of Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Warrenton, is scheduled to perform a SAR demonstration in the Willamette River just south of the Burnside Bridge, Saturday. The demonstration will begin at 2 p.m and can be viewed from Tom McCall Waterfront Park or the Eastbank Esplanade.

Four Coast Guard cutters will be in attendance and available for tours. They include the Bluebell, Steadfast, Swordfish, and Terrapin.

The Coast Guard Cutter Bluebell, a 100-foot Inland Buoy Tender, homeported in Portland, is one of only two remaining 100-foot Buoy Tenders still in Coast Guard active service. Her primary mission is servicing Aids to Navigation in 500 miles of the Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers.

The Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast is a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Astoria. The Steadfast’s crew regularly conduct international law enforcement and drug and migrant interdiction missions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The Coast Guard Cutters Swordfish and Terrapin are both 87-foot coastal patrol boats, homeported in Port Angeles and Bellingham, Washington, respectively. Their missions include SAR, maritime law enforcement, homeland security and living marine resource management,

All four cutters will be open for tours from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

However, the Steadfast’s crew will be holding a change of command ceremony, starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, which is a time-honored tradition that represents a total transfer of responsibility, authority and accountability from one individual to another. The event ensures the continuity of leadership and operations.

Editor’s Note: Although these vessels are not ADA accessible, you can still enjoy the ships during Fleet Week. Check in at the tent at the front of the tour line, and ask for a “dockside tour.” You’ll meet with a service member who can tell you all about the ships, and life at sea — right from the safety of the seawall. For the best experience, please arrive prior to 2:00 p.m. — don’t forget to bring your government issued ID. Visitors may be subject to a personal search. No bags, strollers or wheelchairs will be allowed onboard. There will NOT be any ‘holding area’ for personal items. Visitors MUST be able to maneuver onboard the ships, including climbing narrow ladders. Each ship determines its own schedule for visits and tours. These are subject to change without prior notice. (please be aware you may be turned away).

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