Cutter Maple in San Francisco after servicing NOAA buoys 600 miles offshore

JUNEAU, Alaska – The Coast Guard Cutter Maple, homeported in Sitka, arrived in San Francisco Bay Monday after servicing oceanic data buoys from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration more than 600 miles offshore last week.

The Maple crew working with technicians from NOAA partnered to service these sensitive instruments in an effort to track and monitor changing ocean conditions. These buoys serve as early warning systems for storm systems as well as to provide critical data used to track long-term climate changes.

“These buoys and this mission are absolutely critical for not only safety at sea but also to learn more about our offshore environment,” said Lt. Cmdr. Dan Gray, commanding officer of the Maple. “Surfers, fishermen and mariners use these buoys everyday; the swell and weather information that buoys provide is invaluable to accurate forecasting.”

These buoys measure and transmit air and sea temperatures, wind speed and direction, wave height, direction and period, as well as barometric pressure changes. This information is then compiled into the weather reports and predictions heavily depended upon by both commercial, recreational and military mariners alike.

Due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Coast Guard sent the Cutter Sycamore to the Gulf to assit in spill clean up. The cutter Sycamore, homeported in Cordova, has been deployed for 100 days and is scheduled to return to its homeport in mid-September.

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