Friday, May 31, 2019

USCGC Hickory Investigation

By Karen Robes Meeks

The commanding officer of Homer, Alaska-based US Coast Guard Cutter Hickory has been temporarily relieved of his command following this month’s release of an investigation into a fatal crane accident in a Coast Guard buoy yard Jan. 31.

According to the agency, the investigation found improper operation of the shoreside crane that caused the death of Chief Warrant Officer Michael Kozloski and “leadership deficiencies aboard the Cutter Hickory, which contributed to inadequate crewmember training and complacency with shoreside operations.” “Command positions overseeing Coast Guard units, such as the Cutter Hickory, are among the most important and challenging assignments in our service,” said Rear Adm. Matthew T. Bell Jr., commander of the 17th Coast Guard District. “Commanding officers are entrusted with tremendous authority and responsibility to ensure operational success, good order and discipline, and crew safety.” The temporary administrative action will be followed with a formal review from Coast Guard Headquarters.

“We are continuing to review the results of the investigation, which identified causative factors that will help us prevent future incidents,” said Vice Adm. Fagan, commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area, who convened the major incident investigation. “The Coast Guard is committed to the professional operation of our units and the safety of our members and the American public."

To view the results of the investigation, visit:

New Hotel Concept at San Diego

By Karen Robes Meeks

The STAY OPEN hospitality team has been selected by the Port of San Diego to develop and run a new shared, affordable hospitality pod hotel concept.

The proposed hotel would include 220 self-contained pods (33 rooms with eight to 12 pods per room). Each pod would have a single bed, storage locker, power supply, ventilation control, closeable screen for privacy and security, and free Wi-Fi.

The hotel would also include shared bathroom with shower facilities similar to a high-end fitness center, six private Ensuite rooms with private bathrooms and queen and twin beds for couples and families and rooftop space with a restaurant, bar and outdoor seating open to the public.

“STAY OPEN’s innovative ‘shared hospitality’ concept really stood out, as it is geared towards the traveler that is looking to stay in prime locations without breaking the bank or sacrificing the experience,” said Chairman Garry Bonelli, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “The STAY OPEN team has a successful track record of developing and operating high quality, lower-cost overnight accommodations globally. We look forward to having them as a partner.”

Long Beach Awards Scholarships

By Karen Robes Meeks

Seventy-seven area high school and college students received scholarships totaling $100,000 from the Port of Long Beach earlier this month.

They were honored at the Port’s sixth annual “Celebrating Education” event, which took place at the Long Beach Marriott as part of World Trade Month. The event also spotlighted the port’s newest crop of 25 high school summer interns, and the 22 local teachers newly trained in engineering education in the port's externship program.

“The Harbor Commission has a longstanding belief in leveraging the port’s position as the second-busiest container seaport in the United States for positive changes in our industry and our community,” said Tracy Egoscue, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners. “The Academy of Global Logistics at Cabrillo High School successfully combines academics and industry-relevant training with the goal of educating our city’s students to become leaders in global trade and goods movement.”

The port also announced that it will raise the scholarship amount to $125,000 next year.

“The Port of Long Beach is committed to investing in tomorrow’s future industry leaders through internships and scholarships that will help support the development of a skilled workforce in international trade and goods movement,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “As the industry continues to grow, education outreach and workforce development programs have become a larger priority for the Port of Long Beach and the entire goods movement industry.”

Seasonal USCG Rogue River SAR Opens

By Karen Robes Meeks

On May 25, 2019, the US Coast Guard opened its seasonal search and rescue detachment on the Rogue River in Gold Beach, Oregon, with Coast Guard Station Chetco River providing a 29-foot response boat.

However, Station Chetco River has to delay providing a 47-foot motor lifeboat because of shallower water depth in the Rogue River, which experienced significant shoaling last winter. The channel will need to be dredged before the lifeboat can be used. The US Army Corps of Engineers is expected to dredge it in July.

In the meantime, the Coast Guard Sector North Bend Command Center will regularly inform the boating public in the immediate Rogue River area of any limited Coast Guard response capability.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Coast Guards Cooperate

By Karen Robes Meeks

US and Canadian Coast Guard members teamed up earlier this month to conduct an oil spill response drill in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in British Columbia, Canada and the United States.

The drill was done in partnership with the Washington Department of Ecology and the BC Ministry of Environment. The goal was to “test the activation process for the Canada-United States Joint Marine Pollution Contingency Plan, Pacific Annex, and to test moving response assets and personnel across the US/Canadian border,” according to the US Coast Guard.

“These types of joint exercises are a great way to test our preparedness to respond, build partnerships, test bilateral communications and improve our contingency plans,” said Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Marshall, the Marine Environmental Response Branch Chief for the Coast Guard’s 13th District.

Redwood City Flex Time

By Karen Robes Meeks

Starting June 7, the Port of Redwood City will be closed on alternating Fridays as part of a pilot program to help “ease employee commute time, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide one additional hour of business administration to the public Monday through Thursday,” according to the port.

As of May 28, the new administrative office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and closed every other Friday. The change is prompted in part by the Bay area’s high cost of housing in which many endure long commutes to get to work or to conduct business at the port.

Meanwhile, port operations and public safety services continue 24 hours a day.

Visit for the new schedule.

Harrison to Command USCGC Kimball

By Karen Robes Meeks

Capt. Holly Harrison took command of the US Coast Guard Cutter Kimball earlier this month.

Harrison, who served as executive assistant to the director of the Coast Guard Investigative Service, is taking over from Capt. David Ramassini.

Her Coast Guard career began as a deck watch officer aboard USCGC Storis in Kodiak, Alaska. In the Coast Guard 14th District in Hilo, she was executive officer of USCGC Kiska.

She then headed east to other afloat assignments, including commanding officer of USCGC Aquidneck in North Carolina and later in Bahrain, executive officer of USCGC Legare and USCGC Northland both in Portsmouth, Virginia.

In 2003, aboard Aquidneck, she and her crew supported Operation Iraqi Freedom by conducting “innumerable maritime interdiction, search and rescue, escort and combat-related operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf,” according to US Coast Guard. For her leadership, Harrison became the first female in service history to earn the Bronze Star Medal and the first woman to command a Coast Guard cutter in combat.

In 2010, Harrison was one of 13 White House Fellows chosen by the president; that year, she served as a senior advisor to the Administrator of NASA and acting Deputy Chief of Staff of NASA.

New Long Beach Finance Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Los Angeles World Airports Deputy Executive Director and Comptroller Wei Chi has returned to the Port of Long Beach, this time as its new director of finance. The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the hiring earlier this month.

Chi has a mix of private and public sector experience. He was a senior executive with BP and ARCO before becoming an assistant chief financial officer for the Long Beach port. He was a member of the executive team that led the San Pedro Bay Ports’ Clean Trucks Program financial goals.

While working for LA World Airports, Chi oversaw the implementation of an ambitious $14 billion overhaul of LAX, including the expansion of the airport’s international terminal, the modernization of three domestic terminals and several airfield improvements.