E-Bulletin March 2024

Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands Public Affairs

It was reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 18 October that the US Coast Guard Cutter Willow completed its scheduled aids to navigation service mission around Puerto Rico port and navigable waterways two days before, on 16 October.

During the eight-day mission, cutter Willow crewmembers serviced 23 aids to navigation and performed eight buoy hull reliefs (change overs from old to new) around island ports and navigable waters in Arecibo, Culebra, Guanica, Guayanilla, Ponce, San Juan, Tallaboa, and Vieques.

After the Coast Guard reopened all the ports in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Fiona, the cutter Willow moved up its itinerary to provide scheduled maintenance around the island and further inspect the status of the aids to navigation in the most affected areas from the hurricane.

In the words of Commander Erin H Chlum, CO of Willow: ‘The crew and I were happy to be back in Puerto Rico, our second homeport, servicing aids to navigation to facilitate the movement of commerce into Puerto Rico and supporting safe navigation around the island.

We were especially grateful for the opportunity to work in areas affected by Hurricane Fiona to ensure necessary resources, fuel and supplies can reach the island and people in need.’

Cutter Willow is responsible for the maintenance of 246 aids to navigation throughout the Coast Guard’s Seventh District, ranging from South Carolina to the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands as well as Guantanamo Bay and Haiti.

Coast Guard Cutter Willow is a 225-foot sea going buoy tender homeported in Charleston, South Carolina.

Photograph courtesy of US Coast Guard.

Rapporteur: Paul Ridgway.

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