Fresh off a meeting with U.S. Coast Guard officials in Washington D.C., Petersburg’s mayor is not optimistic that the Coast Guard cutter Anacapa will be stationed in Petersburg after 2022.
The 110-foot cutter conducts commercial fishery law enforcement patrols, search and rescue and life-saving missions. Nationwide the Coast Guard is replacing the older island class cutters with 154-foot sentinel class fast response cutters. Local officials have been hopeful one of the new ships would be stationed in Petersburg.
Jensen met with Coast Guard officials on a recent trip to the nation’s capital in hopes of convincing them to station the newer boats in Petersburg or some other option to keep Coast Guard personnel and their families in town.
“And I asked the question if they took into consideration the financial impact of taking an asset like that out of a community and they said that wasn’t part of their mission,” Jensen told the borough assembly during a meeting this month.
The Coast Guard has not yet announced plans to move the Anacapa from the community. In lieu of a new fast response cutter, local officials are still hoping a smaller buoy tender or some other Coast Guard vessel would be moved to town to replace the Anacapa. Jensen said he heard a more hopeful response from U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young.
“The next day we met with our Congressional delegation and Senator Sullivan was adamant about getting something to backfill that spot,” Jensen said. “I’m not sure what it will be but we’ve got four years to work on that process. And Senator Sullivan and Congressman Young felt the same way.”
The Anacapa was built in 1989 and overhauled in 2009. It’s manned by a crew of 16; the fast response cutters have a crew of 24. Two of the new larger ships are stationed in Ketchikan. Four more are expected to be deployed somewhere else in the state.