Capt. Steve White, from U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau, gives a presentation to the Visitor Industry Task Force in the Assembly chambers on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Capt. Steve White, from U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau, gives a presentation to the Visitor Industry Task Force in the Assembly chambers on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Sector Juneau CO urges teamwork, safety in strange times

The Coast Guard works with its partners to get the job done.

The commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Juneau stressed the importance of Southeast Alaska’s waterways and the critical nature of teamwork at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon Thursday.

“I don’t have a lot of resources to cover a vast area. That’s the story for everyone up here. We have a huge area to cover and not a lot of assets,” said Capt. Stephen White during the luncheon videoconference. “Teamwork is the only way to make it work up here.”

Sector Juneau has more than 250 personnel spread across 10 field commands and detachments, White said. It is responsible for more than 10,000 miles of coastline, according to Sector Juneau’s website. White hammered on the need for teamwork to protect communities within that broad area, especially within emergency responders.

“No organization is awesome by themselves,” White said. “They might be great by themselves, but as far as serving the public, we’re way better if we’re together and working together.”

The Coast Guard often works with Capital City Fire/Rescue in Juneau to coordinate searches and rescues, assisting with medevacs in areas most agencies have difficulty reaching in the vast reach of the Southeast, such as when they rescued an injured child Wednesday night near Haines and transported him to Bartlett Regional Hospital.

“As the Coast Guard, we’re looking at the risks we have to address,” White said. “Up here, there are many.”

White also talked about the importance of the sea to the Southeast.

“You can see what makes Alaska work, it’s the water. They’re the veins that bring lifeblood to the communities,” White said. “You guys in Juneau know how important that water is.”

Fishing and foreign vessels make up a huge part of the commerce and traffic in the region, White said.

“Alaska had $221 million in commercial fishing gross earnings last year. If Alaska was a country, it’d be the 9th largest producer of seafood in the world,” White said. “There were 1,300 foreign vessel arrivals in 2019.”

White also talked about his primary objective, the safety of the community, during the coronavirus.

“We want to have people be productive and be safe. That’s a good overall objective that brings us all together,” White said. “Things are getting harder. But that’s when good people do their best work. I think when we look back on this historic time as something we can be proud of.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or lockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

Float of ducks off Pt. Louisa with Eagle Peak, on Admiralty National Monument around dusk in Juneau winter.
Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska.

FILE - Participants wave signs as they walk back to Orlando City Hall during the March for Abortion Access on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Orlando, Fla.  State-by-state battles over the future of abortion in the U.S. are setting up across the country as lawmakers in Republican-led states propose new restrictions modeled on laws passed in Texas and Mississippi even as some Democratic-controlled states work to preserve access.  (Chasity Maynard/Orlando Sentinel via AP, File)
With Roe in doubt, states act on abortion limits, expansions

“This could be a really, really dramatic year…”

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Friday, Jan. 21

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

Ted Nordgaarden of the Alaska Bureau of Investigation imitates the gesture made by the defendant during the trial of a man charged with killing another man in Yakutat in 2018. (Screenshot)
Investigator testifies as trial concludes second week

The jury watched video of the defendant’s initial interview in custody.

Peter Segall/Juneau Empire
One of the last cruise ships of the 2021 season docks in Juneau on Oct. 20, 2021. Local operators say it’s too early to know how the upcoming cruise season will unfold, but they’re cautiously optimistic.
Smooth sailing for the 2022 season?

Cautious optimism reigns, but operators say it’s too early to tell.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML
COVID at a Glance for Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Numbers come from reports from the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency… Continue reading

Most Read