The United States Coast Guard held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new search and rescue facility at the Vallejo Municipal Marina last Friday. Coast Guard Station Vallejo’s new $14 million facility will be located approximately 3.5 miles northwest of its temporary location at the California Maritime Academy. The 13,200-sq-ft facility will include a new boat bay for small-boat maintenance, berthing for 14 watchstanders, a galley, command center, training room and fitness room.
“When it comes to search and rescue in the Bay Area, every second counts,” said Chief Petty Officer Joshua Hollyfield, Station Vallejo’s officer-in-charge. “The new station, which has been years in the making, will allow the crew to be co-located with our small boats, greatly improving our response time to continue to protect the lives of mariners in Vallejo and the greater Bay Area.”
Coast Guard Sector San Francisco commander Capt. Marie Byrd spoke at the event to celebrate the history and future of Station Vallejo.
“This has been an incredible group effort between Civil Engineering Unit Oakland, Facilities Design and Construction Center, the Vallejo City Council, Electronics Support Detachment Alameda, the 11th Coast Guard District, Sector San Francisco, Station Vallejo and the California Maritime Academy working together to ensure a smooth transition to Station Vallejo’s new home,” said Byrd. “I am looking forward to the opening of this incredible new facility, and the positive impact it will have for the Vallejo community and beyond.”
Station Vallejo crewmembers have been housed in temporary facilities since 1996 and have had to relocate twice due to funding constraints and obstacles. The station was first commissioned as Station Carquinez in 1977 and located at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. After the naval yard was shut down, the station relocated to the California Maritime Academy. In September 2001, the station moved to the Vallejo Municipal Marina, and in 2018 returned to California Maritime Academy awaiting completion of the new station.
In 2020, Station Vallejo responded to 80 search and rescue cases, resulting in 76 lives saved or mariners assisted. The unit consists of 27 personnel and two 29-ft response boats-small, and is responsible for search and rescue and law enforcement missions. The unit’s area of responsibility extends from San Pablo Bay to Suisun Bay, as far east as Simmons Point, north of West Pittsburg.