Helmets are worn by boat crew members to provide head protection during hazardous conditions in various environments. The Coast Guard Research and Development Center has been evaluating personal protective helmets. The center’s extensive research will benefit 16,000 Coast Guard boat crew members throughout the active duty, reserve and auxiliary ranks.
The U.S. Coast Guard is the lead agency for maritime search and rescue (SAR) in U.S. waters. But that mission is compromised every time the service receives a hoax distress call. Making a false distress call is a violation of federal law (14 U.S. Code § 88) and may result in up to six years in prison, a $250,000 criminal fine, a $5,000 civil fine, and reimbursing the U.S. Coast Guard for the cost of performing the search.
The Research Development Test and Evaluation team recently completed the Search and Rescue Hoax Location Systems and Methods project, “evaluate and demonstrate different technologies that would assist the Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) and other partners with locating, identifying and prosecuting hoax callers within the Coast Guard domain.”
To say that the North Shore of Alaska is a remote place is an understatement. The North Shore borders the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea, two marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean. Even in the middle of July, the waters in the area are still icy with large ice flows in many areas. It is not hard to see that conducting search and rescue, one of the Coast Guard’s core missions in the area, presents unusual challenges.
A team of scientists from the Coast Guard Research and Development Center, New London, Connecticut, is currently underway aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy for a series of technology evaluations in the Arctic. The team departed Seward, Alaska, August 8 and is currently conducting operations off the North Slope.