Coast Guard announces “temporary changes in staffing” at Wachapreague

April 11, 2024
Wachapreague Coast Guard Station

The Fifth District Coast Guard recently announced that there will continue to be temporary changes impacting the Coast Guard Station at Wachapreague.

According to CPO Connie Terell from Fifth District Headquarters, the  changes are due to current personnel shortages and will end when more recruits become available.

According to the news release, the Coast Guard will temporarily transition Station Wachapreage to operate as a Scheduled Mission Station beginning April 1. As a Scheduled Mission Station unit, the assigned crews will operate during designated shifts to conduct unit administration, training, maintenance, and scheduled boat operations.  Assigned crews will conduct scheduled missions and operate assigned assets from the station.   Scheduled Mission Station crews will no longer stand 24-hour  Search and Rescue  response duty; however, the Coast Guard will leverage redundant unit capabilities in order to meet designated Search and Rescue response requirements.

Beginning April 1, the Station Wachapreague  response area which includes parts of the Eastern Shore will be covered by Coast Guard stations located in Chincoteague,  Cape Charles, Little Creek and air assets from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

Terell said, The Coast Guard will continue patrols on each weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day and  during fishing tournaments and other scheduled events from Wachapreague.

While the Coast Guard remains committed to the safety and well-being of those who use and enjoy Virginia waterways, these temporary actions must be taken to mitigate the impacts of our workforce crisis. Operating our boats, planes, helicopters, and cutters with insufficient personnel puts our crews and the American public at risk.  These changes will create a more resilient response network of Coast Guard boat stations and assets without decreasing our ability to protect the public.

Terell reiterated that plans are to restore regular service when the recruit shortage ends. She also said that even with the changes the Coast Guard has the capability to respond quickly to any emergency in the area.

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