itCG-searching for survivors, oil spill response, free VSC, lobster mini-season

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  • Coast Guard units are searching for more survivors of an overloaded Haitian freighter that ran aground on a coral reef yesterday afternoon and sank off the islands of Turks and Caicos. Rescuers were looking for about 85 people of the estimated 200 migrants onboard the vessel.
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  • Coast Guard is responding to a crude oil spill from a Shell pipeline about 60 miles off the coast of New Orleans. Experts are cleaning it up and investigating the incident. The oil is not expected to reach shore.
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  • Coast Guard Auxiliarists in the Tahoe area reported a 500% increase in the number of free vessel safety checks (VSC) performed. The Auxiliary has performed 466 inspections, up from 93 last year. To find out where you can get a free VSC in your area, head over to the VSC Web site. You can even conduct a virtual VSC.
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  • Tonight at midnight (well, actually tomorrow at 12:01 a.m.), the famed 2-day lobster mini-season begins off the coast of Florida. As crowds swarm the water to dive for these prized catches, the Coast Guard, state and local agencies are ramping up and reminding boaters and divers to be safe on the water – file a float plan with someone on shore, never dive alone, use dive flags, don’t boat or dive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, have a safety observer, carry a marine band radio for communications, be mindful of other boaters, and check the weather. For more boating safety tips, click here.
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