Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/108942
Ice Ops Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay breaks ice for freighters navigating the St. Marys River. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Of¿cer William B. Mitchell. The 9th Coast Guard District (D9) is expansive and unique. It shares a maritime border of roughly 1,500 miles with Canada, and its area of responsibility encompasses the federal navigable waters of the Great Lakes states and connecting waterways, including portions of the St. Lawrence Seaway, Illinois River, Lake Winnebago, New York State Barge Canal, and various tributaries. D9 personnel carry out a variety of missions within its area of responsibility including search and rescue (SAR), maritime safety and security, environmental protection, maritime law enforcement, aids to navigation, and ice breaking. In winter, when the Great Lakes and tributaries freeze, D9 personnel engage in SAR operations on the ice and domestic ice breaking missions to free up shipping lanes and harbors for commercial vessel trafc. To support ice rescue operations, D9 runs the Ice Capabilities Center of Excellence at Station/Aids to Navigation Team Saginaw River in Essexville, Mich. Coast Guard personnel and partner state and local frst responders attend the school to learn about the fundamentals of ice rescue. It is the only U.S. Coast Guard training center dedicated to ice rescue. Additionally, to address domestic ice breaking operations, the district maintains a feet of harbor tugs and buoy tenders with ice breaking capability, including the queen of the feet, the USCGC Mackinaw, the only U.S. heavy ice breaker assigned to the Great Lakes. D9 leverages these authorities through memoranda of understanding or agreements with partnering state agencies in Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania for maritime safety and security zone enforcement. Besides strengthening partnerships, these agreements multiply available enforcement assets including hard water resources like airboats and snowmobiles. They also provide availability to state and local personnel who have greater familiarity with law enforcement involving vehicular and pedestrian trafÀc. The Result In support of the January 18, 2012, rescue exercise, the COTP of Sector Lake Michigan established a safety zone surrounding the exercise area to protect the people who regularly traverse the ice. Personnel and assets from many agencies enforced the zone. Coordinating with state and local partners assured effective safety zone enforcement and will continue to do so in D9's area of responsibility. About the author: LT Terrence M. Thornburgh is a judge advocate in the 9th Coast Guard District legal ofÀce. Prior to this assignment, he deployed in support of Operation Deepwater Horizon as a pollution response coordinator in Mobile, Ala., and later as a claims adjudicator at the National Pollution Funds Center in Arlington, Va. Endnotes: 1. 33 C.F.R. § 2.24(a) deÀnes U.S. internal waters as waters shoreward of the territorial sea baseline. 2. For the purposes of this article, exclusionary zones refer to safety and security zones as deÀned in 33. C.F.R. §§ 6.01-05, 165.20, and 165.30. Exclusionary zones are established through the rulemaking process. For a detailed explanation of this process, refer to The Coast Guard Rulemaking Process article by Roger Butturini in Proceedings of the Marine Safety and Security Council, Spring 2010. 3. Safety zones promulgated for environmental reasons are limited in scope. The PWSA authorizes safety zones to control vessel movement within a waterway to avoid collisions, allisions, and groundings that may result in damage or pollution to the marine environment. It does not, however, authorize a safety zone to be established solely to protect marine protected species unless there is a nexus to navigational safety. 4. These prohibitions are taken from 33 C.F.R. § 165.23 for safety zones. Security zone prohibitions in 33 C.F.R. § 165.33 are generally consistent, but also permit the COTP to take possession or control any vessel in the security zone and deny any person from boarding or taking any article or thing onboard a vessel or waterfront facility within the security zone. 5. 46 U.S.C. 70118. For More Information: to assist in the enforcement of security zones issued under that part. Additional regulations authorize state and local law enforcement ofÀcers who have authority to enforce state criminal laws to make arrests for certain exclusionary zone violations — provided the violation is a felony, and the ofÀcer has reasonable grounds to believe the person has committed the violation.5 42 Proceedings Winter 2012 | Spring 2013 The Great Lakes Maritime Strategy frames the district commander's intent and guiding principles, mission ethos, and strategic objectives for the 9th Coast Guard District. It is available at www. uscg.mil/history/docs/2011uscg-d9_great_ lakes_maritime_strategy.pdf. www.uscg.mil/proceedings