In a resounding commitment to enhancing maritime safety across the Pacific, the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam (FM/SG) recently concluded a series of impactful workshops in Palau. From December 26th to 30th, the team embarked on a mission to equip local boaters with vital knowledge and tools, solidifying the existing partnership between the two nations.
These workshops weren’t simply lectures; they were interactive exchanges of expertise. Marine science technicians, a maritime law enforcement specialist, and the COFA liaison officer – all FM/SG members – traveled across four Palauan states, engaging with State Rangers, fishers, and everyday boaters. Their focus? Practical, lifesaving strategies that could make a real difference at sea.
The initiative coincided with the USNS Mercy’s visit to Palau, further underlining the commitment to regional collaboration. Together with Civic Action Team Palau, they distributed essential safety equipment like whistles, checklists, and even signaling mirrors to communities in Ngaraad, Airai, Ngchesar, and Ngarchelong.
“Every bit of information and equipment we provide has the potential to save a life,” emphasized Lt. Anna Maria Vaccaro, the COFA liaison officer and team lead. “But this exchange is a two-way street. We were humbled by a fisherman’s story about surviving three days at sea after his outboard motor failed. His resourcefulness in using fuel to attract help reminded us of the incredible resilience and ingenuity of Pacific Islanders.”
Beyond the workshops, the FM/SG team prioritized future generations of maritime leaders. They met with a soon-to-be recruit, assessed his fitness for basic training, and even introduced Palauan high school seniors to the exciting world of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, potentially sparking a passion for maritime safety in young minds.
This impactful visit wasn’t just about equipping boats with gear; it was about equipping people with knowledge and fostering a future where safety prevails at sea. The planned multi-agency search and rescue exercise in Palau next year is a testament to this ongoing commitment.
With each workshop, each shared story, and each piece of equipment gifted, the U.S. Coast Guard and Palau are forging a path towards a safer, more collaborative maritime future. It’s a future where knowledge is the lifejacket, and partnership the guiding star.
About U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam
The U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam team safeguards maritime safety, security, and environmental stewardship across Oceania. With a strong presence in Guam and Saipan, they partner closely with local communities, ensuring a stable and secure maritime environment for the entire region.
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