DANA POINT— On May 13, the U.S. Coast Guard’s cutter Narwhal which patrols the Orange County coast, paid a visit to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, where USCG officers and crew held public tours filled with education about the boat and the USCGAUX informed guests about safe boating practices. The vessel is typically docked at the Coast Guard’s facility on Bayside Drive in the Newport Harbor and is the only active Coast Guard unit in Orange County. It is one of seven cutters that operate in the Coast Guard’s Southern California fleet.
Narwhal is an 87-foot Marine Protector Class coastal patrol cutter and is one of the smallest multi-mission patrol vessels employed by the Coast Guard. Home-ported in Corona del Mar since 2001, Narwhal has participated in a wide range of at-sea missions, received numerous commendations, and while ashore, its crew has been closely involved in supporting a host of Orange County community projects. The term “cutter” identifies a Coast Guard Vessel 65 feet in length or greater, with accommodations for a crew to liveaboard. The cutter Narwhal has a liveaboard crew of 12.
The Narwhal’s duty is to secure the country’s maritime borders, but its crew also conducts search and rescue missions, enforces immigration laws, oversees local fisheries, and responds to oil spills. In addition, the ship typically patrols coastal waters from the Mexican border to the Channel Islands under the direction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Also in attendance was the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, a uniformed volunteer division of the USCG, comprised of experienced boaters and former Coast Guard veterans that helps bring Coast Guard education to the public. The Dana Point Flotilla has the largest number of memberships in Division 6-8, which covers Dana Point. The flotilla is led by a Flotilla Commander and is assisted by a Vice Flotilla Commander.
The USCGAUX was established in 1939 and is comprised of 26,000 men and women nationwide to provide support for the Coast Guard by enforcing marine safety and observation and providing private navigational support. The USCGAUX also hosts boating safety classes and performs boater safety checks.
Those interested in joining the USCGAUX must be:
– A U.S. citizen
– 17 years of age or older
– Pass a boating safety and new member exam
– Cannot have been convicted of a felony
– Pass a security clearance
– Be physically and mentally capable of fulfilling your job
For more information, please visit http://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=114-06-08.