Local Coast Guard flotilla seeks citizen help

Published on Wed, Mar 17, 2010 by Arthur Cummings

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The U.S. Coast Guard is looking for local citizens to assist them in protecting the safety and security of our nation’s waterways.

The Citizen’s Action Network (CAN) is made up of volunteers living within view of a navigable waterway who have offered to assist the Coast Guard from the comfort of their own home.

CAN members can, on a real-time basis, save lives and property, help keep our waterways safe and clean, and assist in reducing threats to our nation’s security.

The names and locations of local CAN members are on file at the Coast Guard’s Seattle command center. If the Coast Guard requires local information, a call is made to one or more CAN members to obtain weather and sea conditions, pollution reports, observed suspicious activity, or search and rescue assistance.

Conversely, CAN members observing any of the above-mentioned activities can report them to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center (NRC) which will quickly forward the report to the command center or another agency for response.

CAN members living near the border with Canada need only call one number to obtain a response to an observed situation.

The RCMP, Canada’s counterpart organization, is similar to the CAN and together they provide a seamless system along the border. If a report regarding activity near the border is received by the NRC and Canadian support is needed, it will be forwarded to the Canadian counterparts as well as the Seattle command center.

If you would like to assist the Coast Guard in keeping our waters safe and clean, volunteer to become a CAN member. The only requirements are a marine view from your home or place of business, a telephone and a commitment to assist the Coast Guard.

For more information on CAN membership, contact the local USCG Auxiliary CAN Coordinator at 360/966-7699 by emailing dwest1604@earthlink.net or by visiting www.cgauxblaine.com