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U.S. Coast Guard Representatives Tour NOAA’s Western Regional Center

JAN. 13, 2023 — On Dec. 13, after a busy fall season of incident response, members of the Incident Management Division of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound visited the NOAA Western Regional Center in Seattle.

A group of people in uniform.
Members of USCG Sector Puget Sound, and NOAA's NW Scientific Support Coordinator and Regional Response Officer at the NWS Seattle/Tacoma Forecast Office. Image credit: NOAA.

The visit was initiated by the NOAA scientific support coordinator for the Northwest, Faith Knighton, and came as a result of close collaboration between OR&R and the Coast Guard during an intensive 42-day response to the F/V Aleutian Isle sinking in August and September of 2022. 

This was the first time that representatives from Sector Puget Sound visited the Western Regional Center since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The goal of the visit was to introduce to the Incident Management Division members to the NOAA “home team” in Seattle, and increase their understanding of NOAA’s capabilities that can aid in incident response. 

The first stop on the tour was OR&R's Emergency Response Division office where the group toured the newly updated Orca and Chinook conference centers used for incident response. They met members of the division’s Technical and Scientific Services Branch and learned how that team supports incident response. 

They next visited the Office of Coast Survey’s Pacific Hydrographic Branch and Navigation Response Team, where they learned about NOAA’s capabilities to map the ocean floor in areas of heavy marine traffic. The group also learned about NOAA’s ability to deploy navigation response teams to areas that have been impacted by natural disasters, such as hurricanes, to map shipping lanes and reopen critical ports.

The final stop on the tour was the National Weather Service Seattle/Tacoma Forecast Office, where forecasters discussed how local spot forecasts can support incident responders, how these forecasts are created, and what scientific products the Forecast Office can provide to Sector Puget Sound during small incidents. 

Overall, this visit strengthened NOAA’s partnerships with the Coast Guard, helped familiarize Coast Guard officers with NOAA’s capabilities, and improved our collective ability to respond to incidents efficiently in the future.

Last updated Friday, January 20, 2023 9:06pm PST