August 15, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 33

Coast Guard's ANACAPA to remain in Petersburg

Petersburg Mayor Mark Jensen wrote a letter to Senator Mark Begich on behalf of the borough reinforcing the need for the U.S. Coast Guard’s ANACAPA’s continued operation.

Troy Larson / Pilot File Photo
USCG entering the Wrangell Narrows from the north.

This after the USCGC announced its plan for phasing out of 110-foot vessels like the ANACAPA in favor of new 154-foot fast response cutters, or FRC. Plans call for the purchase of 58 FRCs during the next several years.

Jensen’s letter asked questions regarding how much longer the ANACAPA would remain in Petersburg and whether or not a similar vessel would replace it. He then outlined several reasons why the ANACAPA should remain, or if it were to be replaced, desired that the new vessel should be home-ported in Petersburg.

“Petersburg’s centralized location is ideal for broad area coverage by the ANACAPA. It gives the Coast Guard a shorter response to any situation including: north to Fredrick Sound and Stephen’s Pass out to Chatham Strait and south to Sumner Strait and upper Clarence Strait out to lower Chatham Straits,” the letter states.

The letter also raises concerns over vessel traffic and how Petersburg’s harbors are routinely full.

Bob King, Legislative Assistant to Sen. Begich wrote a e-mail response to Jensen’s letter several weeks later.

“…only 18 of the planned 58 FRCs have been funded and only 6 delivered so far and the CG does not have specific future deployment plans beyond that,” King’s e-mail states.

“In the meantime, you make very good points about the need for a Petersburg based cutter to address search and rescue, fisheries enforcement and homeland security missions in the region.  I have notified the Coast Guard of the Senator’s interest in retaining a cutter in Petersburg and asked to be notified if and when any plans are being made affecting either the ANACAPA or ELDEBERRY.”

King also wrote that the Coast Guard has no current plans to remove the ANACAPA from service or change its home-port.

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