Coast Guard prepares for busy weekend

October 2, 2012 9:04:05 PM PDT
The Blue Angels arrived back in the Bay Area Tuesday evening for their annual appearance at Fleet Week.

This weekend is a lot of fun for those of us who enjoy the show. But for the Coast Guard it's a working weekend, and this one is going to be a little more work.

Fleet Week's big air show and the parade of ships and the hundreds of boats on the water is always a big weekend for the Coast Guard. This weekend, the America's Cup World Series will be added on. It's a great marketing ploy for the yacht race but it's an extra bit of work for the Coast Guard.

Tuesday, the Coast Guard showed off how they'll intercept boats that stray into the restricted zone along the Marina Green. They're expecting as many as 2,000 private boats to be on the water, three times more than a normal weekend.

"We really usually don't have a problem; people are very understanding and know what to do and what they're not supposed to be doing because we're out there to enjoy a show," Coast Guard spokesperson Jeannie Crump said.

There will be added security, including bomb sniffing dogs.

"We'll be at the Ferry Building, we'll be on the boats on the piers; we've got a varied schedule where we'll be working off during Fleet Week," Coast Guard spokesperson Christopher Hartman said.

Most of what the Coast Guard will be doing is safety related -- checking to make sure boaters are carrying lifejackets for everyone on board. In case of trouble, they showed off their helicopter rescue technique -- a rescue swimmer jumping in as they would to save someone from drowning.

"You kind of look at what they're going though and how you are going to calm them down and keep them safe and what kind of methods you're going to have to use to get them out of the water as safe as possible," Coast Guard spokesperson Ernie Child said.

The Blue Angels fly Saturday and Sunday. The America's Cup World Series catamarans will be flying their hulls in the races that start Thursday.

Click here for a list of this weekend's events and traffic information to help you get around.


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