Guam based Coast Guard cutter delivers humanitarian aid to Micronesia

14th Coast Guard District NewsPACIFIC OCEAN – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia is delivering humanitarian aid and supplies to the outer Caroline Islands in the Federated States of Micronesia as part of a joint effort by the Coast Guard, the Department of Defense and civilian partners Monday.

More than 25 pallets consisting of textbooks, teaching supplies, toys, clothing, books, paint, generators, appliances, coolers, medical supplies, basic hygiene items and 55-gallon barrels are being delivered to the islands of Ulithi, Nomwin and Murilo Atolls. These supplies will enable the reconstruction of clinics, schools and provide the Pacific Islanders essential supplies they cannot receive on a regular basis.

The Ayuda Foundation and Oceania Community Health organization personnel in Guam helped gather and load the supplies onto the Sequoia, March 12, 2012. The Sequoia also loaded several tons of Project Handclasp supplies collected in a joint effort by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

The Sequoia’s first stop was Pohnpei where they conducted joint law enforcement operations to support bilateral agreements for fisheries enforcement throughout the Pacific Ocean. While in Pohnpei, they also provided boat tours for more than 300 students. After the Sequoia’s law enforcement operations, the crew visited the atolls in the Hall Islands to deliver supplies.

The Sequoia crew also visited the atolls of Chuuk State and the islands of Nomwin and Murilo. After off-loading supplies, Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Edwards, the cutter’s health services technician, administered basic first aid and provided direction on the medical and hygiene products delivered to the islands. Edwards trained residents in treating common afflictions such as sunburn and heat exhaustion, in addition to conducting CPR demonstrations.

The crew also provided training on basic search and rescue concepts and equipment. Petty Officer 1st Class Geraldine Cabrera, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jared Barnes, boatswains mates aboard the Sequoia, explained the use and importance of survival gear such as flares, signal mirrors, smoke producing devices and other common distress signals. The crew also distributed and explained the importance of filing float plans that contain critical information to assist the Coast Guard in the event of a missing boater.

“It was very rewarding to see the islanders truly understand the importance of search and rescue and the basic things they can do to help, like wear bright clothes and file a float plan with their island,” said Cabrera.

The crew of the Sequoia will continue efforts of distributing supplies in the Caroline Islands in the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Sequoia, a 225-foot sea-going buoy tender homeported in Guam, is manned by a crew of 54. Its primary missions are maintaining aids to navigation, search and rescue, law enforcement, marine environmental protection and homeland security. The Coast Guard works in partnership with local communities acoss the Pacific to provide them with capabilities that will enable greater safety, security and economic success.

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