Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Local citizens and visitors will begin seeing an increased Coast Guard presence in the air and on the water as units of Coast Guard Sector New Orleans begin operating an increased patrol schedule during the height of Mardi Gras festivities here.The increased security initiatives will include extra patrols, deployment of additional crewmembers and resources, and joint cooperation with local law enforcement to keep New Orleans citizens and visitors safe on and around the water. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans crews with New Orleans Police Department officers will provide increased small boat patrols of the Mississippi River to protect maritime facilities and vessels, and monitor for any suspicious activity.
USCGC Barbara Mabrity (WLM-559)Crews from Marine Safety & Security Team Galveston, Texas & New Orleans will patrol the river daily with 25-foot small boats maintaining a security presence, conducting patrols and boardings. Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans will fly law enforcement overflights with the upgraded more capable HH-65C Dolphin model helicopter., assisting the NOPD by monitoring for suspicious or dangerous behavior. The Coast Guard will also play a large role in the ceremony to mark the arrival of the Krewes of Zulu and Rex to New Orleans on Lundi Gras. The Krewe of Zulu is scheduled to sail from the Gov. Nicholls Street Wharf to Waldenberg Park aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Harry Claiborne, and the Krewe of Rex is scheduled to sail from the New Orleans Port Authority Wharf to Spanish Plaza aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Barbara Mabrity. Station New Orleans boat crews will assist the transit by enforcing a safety and security zone during the event. Boaters are reminded to monitor marine broadcasts to learn the times and location of the safety and security zones. USCGC Harry Claiborne (WLM-561)The Cutters USCGC Harry Claiborne (WLM-561) and USCGC Barbara Mabrity (WLM-559) are 175-foot coastal buoy tenders homeported in Galveston, Texas, and Mobile, Ala. The Coast Guard Mardi Gras float, crewed by members of the Eighth Coast Guard District, headquartered here, is scheduled to roll in several of the parades. "The Coast Guard wants everyone to have a fun, albeit safe and secure, Carnival season," said Lt. Matt Denning, Chief of Enforcement for Sector New Orleans. "We urge New Orleans citizens and visitors to remain vigilant and report any suspicious or dangerous activity to local law enforcement officials or to the Coast Guard's National Response Center at (800) 424-8802."