Coast Guard and Maui County to Improve Rescue Coordination

February 3, 2012, 4:20 PM HST · Updated February 4, 8:44 AM
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Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, (front row center), holds a memorandum of agreement with Rear Adm. Charles W. Ray, (second from right). Joining Ray and Arakawa are representatives from Ocean Safety, Maui County Fire Department, Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu, and Sector Honolulu. US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony L. Soto.

By Wendy Osher

The Coast Guard this week signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Maui and Hawaii Counties in an effort to improve coordination during search and rescue missions.

The intent of the MOU is to provide timely notification between local and federal responders and maintain consistent interoperability.

By doing so, Coast Guard officials say responders can fully leverage each organization’s unique assets, capabilities, and local knowledge while conducting search and rescue operations.

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Rear Adm. Charles W. Ray, commander of the 14th Coast Guard District, met with Mayors Alan Arakawa of Maui County and William Kenoi of Hawaii County.

Ray signed the agreements, which set forth terms by which the local fire departments, Ocean Safety, Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu, and Coast Guard Sector Honolulu will coordinate and carry out civil and military search and rescue missions.

“This agreement offers benefits to both local and federal responders,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matt Derrenbacher of Sector Honolulu in a statement.

“But the real benefits go to the citizens who live in and visit the Hawaiian Islands. We’re here to serve the public by providing them the best rescue, response capabilities and coordination possible to save lives,” said Derrenbacher.

***Supporting information courtesy US Coast Guard, Hawai’i.

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