Final agreement signed to formalize search and rescue across Hawaii

14th Coast Guard District NewsLihue, HAWAII – Representatives from the Coast Guard and Kauai City and County signed a memorandum of agreement during a ceremony at the Kauai Fire Department Headquarters to improve search and rescue interoperability on and around Kauai, Monday.

Rear Adm. Charles W. Ray, 14th Coast Guard District commander, and Kauai Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. signed the agreement that sets forth terms by which Kauai Fire Department, Ocean Safety, Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu, and Coast Guard Sector Honolulu will coordinate and carry out civil and military search and rescue support.

Mayor Carvalho expressed his appreciation to the Coast Guard, the Kauai Fire Department and the County of Kauai Ocean Safety Bureau for working to formalize an already strong relationship.

“This is about partnership and working together and how we all can support each other in any situation,” said Carvalho.

The objective of the agreement is to encourage collective communications between each agency during an active search mission. Each organization involved in the agreement offers unique assets and capabilities necessary to conduct SAR missions, such as local knowledge of the community, quick response times and various technological assets.

“We appreciate the continued support of the U.S. Coast Guard,” said Kauai Fire Chief Robert Westerman. “Their services have been invaluable during joint search and rescue missions.”

The cooperative agreement also focuses on the prevention of death or injury to individuals and loss or damage to property in the mutual geographic areas covered by the signatory agencies.

“We already have a great relationship with the County of Kauai and we’ve done a lot of great missions over the last few years, we don’t look at this as breaking new ground, we look at this as a confirmation of procedures of what we need to do to talk to you and what you need to do to talk to us,” said Ray. “This is a framework for when we as Coast Guardsmen transfer out and new people come in, we can hand them this and tell them, this is how we work with Kauai”

The memorandum of agreement signed with Kauai marks the final agreement in place to formalize search and rescue procedures across the Hawaiian Islands.

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