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Coast Guard Collection in Marin Tomorrow

Tomorrow (Thursday, January 24) in Mill Valley between 3 and 6 p.m., there will be a collection for Coast Guard families at the Southern Marin Fire Protection District.

To get to the Southern Marin Fire District station, take exit 447 off 101, then take CA 131E Tiburon Blvd. 0.8 miles right on Strawberry Drive. Take a right onto Ricardo Road and proceed to the top of the hill. Go immediately left onto Reed Blvd., then go 0.4 miles to SMFD.
© 2019 Google Maps

Here’s a list of what the North Bay Coast Guard Spouses Club is asking for: diapers/wipes (sizes 1-5) laundry and dish detergent; paper towels; canned food items; peanut butter and jelly; bread; formula; feminine products; razors, shaving cream; cereal; mac ‘n cheese; pasta; rice; non-perishable foods; dog and cat food; Safeway gift cards; gas cards.

For more information, please contact Meghan Wood here. And please stay tuned for news of future collections.

Still on the Job

On Saturday, a 21-ft boat ran aground in the notoriously (but deceivingly) shallow waters of Suisun Bay, according to a Coast Guard press release. It is not clear if the vessel was a sail- or motorboat — but it began taking on water. There were two people onboard.

“Vessel Assist personnel contacted Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders around 4 p.m,” the release said. “A Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and a Coast Guard Station Vallejo 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew were dispatched to the scene.”

This screenshot is NOT from Saturday’s rescue, but it reflects a familiar story. This video was shot in July 2018 after a 22-foot sailing vessel ran aground and began taking on water with a family onboard. Suisun Bay claims many boats in its shallow, muddy waters every year.
© 2019 Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco

As with so many groundings in Suisun Bay, rescue boats could not reach the stranded vessel due to the shallow depth of the water. The Coast Guard helicopter lowered the rescue swimmer and they eventually hoisted both boaters to safety. They were then flown to Buchanan Field Airport in Concord and were reported in good condition.

The helicopter’s pilot, Lt. Samuel Hafensteiner, said that the crew performed exceptionally well. “With practiced precision, [we] executed a difficult, 80-foot hoist from a 21-foot boat to successfully rescue these two individuals.”

We’ve heard very little from the Coast Guard themselves about the shutdown, until this press release:

“The Coast Guard continues operations authorized by law that provide for national security or that protect life and property during partial government shutdowns; however, there are some impacts to our day-to-day operations. The Coast Guard stops or curtails mission activities that do not fall into those categories. Coast Guard uniformed personnel will continue to perform their duties during a partial government shutdown and will provide essential services such as search and rescue, port and homeland safety and security, law enforcement and environmental response.”

At least someone is doing their job.

An End in Sight? Probably Not

Tomorrow, the Senate will hold competing votes on two measures: One vote will focus on “President Trump’s proposal to spend $5.7 billion on a border wall,” according to the New York Times. The other vote is over a “Democratic bill that would fund the government through Feb. 8 without a wall.” But neither measure is expected to pass, according to the Times. “The procedural move by Senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, and Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, is the first time the parties have agreed to do virtually anything since the shutdown began Dec. 22.”

Friday will mark the second time this month that some 800,000 federal workers — including the Coast Guard — have gone without a paycheck, assuming a bill isn’t passed tomorrow.

It’s not clear what progress has been made with the “Pay Our Coast Guard Act.” Though it’s received wide bipartisan support, there’s no indication that the bill is moving through Congress.

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