My dad used to fly these. I’ve never been so close to one in flight.
Here it is, low and slow over Golden Gate Park heading southwest:
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One assumes it’s an HC-130H out of CGAS Sacramento.
You know, these people:
The smallest branch of our U.S military, the Coast Guard, was out practicing rescues at Ocean Beach on a national holiday, as they are want to do.
One of the $1.2 million Textron Marine 47 foot Motor Life Boats on the scene:
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Semper Paratus (Always Ready)
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(Of course our SFPD has the same basic vessel, SFPD Marine 1, except I don’t think they’ve ever used it the way it was meant to be used. So yes it’s cool to have an all aluminum lifeboat but it’s pretty stupid for the SFPD to operate it, IMO. In a better world, we’d just give it to the Philippines or someplace.)
Anyway, Semper Paratus (Always Ready)
|Displacement:||18 t (20 short tons)|
|Length:||14.6 m (47 ft 11 in)|
|Beam:||4.27 m (14 ft 0 in)|
|Draught:||1.37 m (4 ft 6 in)|
|Propulsion:||2 × Detroit Diesel 6V92TA DDEC-IV engines, 435 hp (324 kW) each
1,500 liter (373 usable imperial gallons) fuel capacity 
|Speed:||25 knots (29 mph; 46 km/h) maximum
22 knots (25 mph; 41 km/h) cruising
|Range:||200 nmi (370 km) cruising|
|Complement:||34 Persons, 4 crew, 30 passengers|
|Armament:||1 × M240B machine gun (optional)|
So let’s hear from America’s Cup 2013 Safety Committee member Jim Farmer, QC [Her Majesty's Counsel learned* in the law]:
“The City of San Francisco is very unhappy with the promised financial bonanza being anything but.”
Heretofore, everything that could have gone wrong with the 2013 America’s Cup has gone wrong. All we can do now is hope that no one else dies for the sake of Larry Ellison’s ego.
And is this America’s Cup going to be the last big thing Larry Ellison does before he dies?
So there’s this – it’s the kind of thing called Harsh Reality Time:
“Much of the vision, it is now apparent, has turned to custard. Larry Ellison’s prediction that there would be a dozen or more challengers (up to 15 perhaps) looks absurd with only 3 challengers making it to the start line and one of them not yet ready to race. The City of San Francisco is very unhappy with the promised financial bonanza being anything but. The tragic death of Andrew Simpson when the first (and so far only) Artemis boat disintegrated as it collapsed has cast a pall over the Event from which even the spectacular speed of these boats is unlikely to clear away.“
And there’s this:
“One has to hope most earnestly that there is no further disaster. So far these boats have not yet raced in anger and that has to be the major concern. Two boats, each sailing at over 40 knots and closing from opposing tacks at a mark at an effective combined speed of 80 knots, is not for the faint-hearted. Getting crew down safely or out of the water from a boat that has capsized remains a serious challenge even for sailors who are well equipped, fit and trained to deal with that situation as best they can. Fortunately, sanity prevailed with one of the Regatta Director’s safety recommendations being a prohibition on corporate guests sitting on the back of one of these racing machines. How crazy was that idea in the first place?”
Oh, and there’s this:
“…it will be economics that will prevent the next edition of the Cup under Ellison’s control being a success. Three challengers this time. It is hard to see any of those challengers continuing with the same model of the Event next time. Yes, there will be others who will be happy to do the A45 thing, as there were this time, but the question will be whether (billionaires aside) more than one or two will be able to go to the next stage – which is the America’s Cup after all. And even the viability of the AC45 circuit must be uncertain. The existing model of cities paying all the costs of each mini-event, including the cost of getting the 45s there, just didn’t work this time, with a number of planned events being cancelled because of lack of financial support.”
Anyway, the point is that Appointed Mayor and Willie Brown butt-boy Ed Lee knows that this venture is a big flop, but he’s afraid to say or do anything about it.
Monstrous Big Red, a ticking time bomb that went off a couple months ago:
*Pepe: “Wow, Papa Homer, you are so learn-ed.” Homer: “It’s pronounced “learned.’”
Read the news and turn the pages:
“The Neptune Coalition is composed of 15 participating Bay Area Law Enforcement Agencies and is a cooperative effort to enhance the safety and security…”
Let me tell you something:
I am no stranger in your town/
And Rasta seed is all around
And yet, I ain’t never heard of no monthly meetings of no “Neptune Coalition.”
Is this their former domain name?
“One of the 9/11 Commission’s major findings was the need to improve sharing terrorism related information across government lines. And, there has been a shift from “need to know” to a “responsibility to provide” paradigm. While MDA has no room for turf wars, sharing information has moved to the forefront of relations between commercial shipping operations and governmental entities. The “Neptune Coalition” in San Francisco Bay, which is comprised of 20 federal, state, and local law enforcement and response agencies, meets regularly and shares information is an example of best practices in the MDA.”
Why doesn’t somebody look into this and report back to tout le monde?
Oh, and when you’re done with that assignment, start working on what the “Trident Coalition” is all aboot, eh?
I’m srsly, the melon-farming Trident Coalition.
Here you go, I’ll get you started, with a little tidbit from the Port of Oakland:
• Area Maritime Security Plan (AMSP)
• Trident Coalition
• Neptune Coalition
It’s like I’m the Man from Mars, it’s like I don’t know anything.
Maybe I am a stranger in your town.
And Rasta seed is not all around…
Well, this is news to me.
Check it, the biggest military shoulder patch in the world is worn by members of the Novato-based “Pacific Strike Team,” which is part of the National Strike Force, which is part of the Deployable Operations Group, which is part of the United States Coast Guard.
See? Here they are, training for disaster response up in Marin County last year.
“Petty Officer 2nd Class Sharina Lamonica and Petty Officer 3rd Class Grace Peterson setup a weather station during an exercise with National Strike Force’s Pacific Strike Team, Feb. 16, 2011. The Pacific Strike Team conducted the exercise as part of its annual Readiness for Operations inspection”
And you thought Novato was just a cow town:
I moved your star about 100 clicks north of where you have it, Dawg. Novato’s in the North Bay, not the South, just saying.
All the deets:
“The Deployable Operations Group (DOG) is a United States Coast Guard command that provides properly equipped, trained and organized Deployable Specialized Forces (DSF) to Coast Guard, DHS, DoD and inter-agency operational and tactical commanders. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, it was established on 20 July 2007, and is commanded by a Rear Admiral lower half.”
“Each Strike Team is a highly trained cadre of Coast Guard professionals who maintain and rapidly deploy with specialized equipment and incident management skills wherever needed. The strike teams are recognized worldwide as expert authorities in the preparation for and response to the effects resulting from oil discharges, hazardous substance releases, weapons of mass destruction events, and other emergencies on behalf of the American public. There are three strike teams within the NSF. The Atlantic Strike Team (AST) is based at Fort Dix, New Jersey, the Gulf Strike Team (GST) is based in Mobile, Alabama, and the Pacific Strike Team is based in Novato, California.”
Thanks in advance, Pacific Strike Team.
I’ll tell you, if you like to see people walking around 415 dans l’uniforme, then late 2001 would have been the time for you. Military-types were all over town.
But these days, you don’t see that anymore, for some reason. These days, you need to go down the Armed Forces Recruiting Center in the sleepy North of Financial District area to see men and women in uniform.
See the door on the left? They’re* hiring!
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“Navy Recruiting Station San Francisco
670 Davis Street
San Francisco, CA 94111 (415) 434-0195″
*The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, all of them, and maybe even the Coast Guard
We’ve had some extra low-and-loud chopper traffic over the 415 recently, not sure why.
Are our U.S. Coast Guard HH-65 Dauphin helicopters taking a new short cut from the east side to the west side, buzzing the NoPA and Nob Hill, when they’re on search and rescue missions nowadays? Could be.
As seen over the Western Addition (yes, there are tiled roofs on the DivCo).
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As it noisily flew over my vast real estate holdings I started thinking about how a trend like this could affect property values, so I started yelling and waving my arms and chanting “U.S.* out of NoPA!” But I remembered I’m not a God Damn Landed Gentry NoPA NIMBY Millionaire and then everything was fine once again. Crisis averted.
*The CG is the smallest branch of the U.S. military, hence the mil in .mil.
I don’t know, don’t you ever wish you could have a new name? Like Penelope or Scout or ANYTHING, ANYTHING BUT CARNIVAL SPLENDOR?
I mean if the Condoleezza Rice can change her name, then anything’s possible, right?
Anyway, here she is, preparing to be sitting on the dry dock of the Bay at Pier 80.
And hey, just what she needs – a new engine all the way from Trieste Italy. Thanks Wärtsilä!
Oh, better check the packing list to make sure it’s all there.
Bon Courage, Pier 80 workers!
Bon Voyage, Carnival _______!
Has it been only three years since the Cosco Busan, the leakiest 2001 Hyundai ever, spilled 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel* into the bay? Seems longer.
Anyway, turns out that a dude who supposed to be up front looking out for stuff in the pea soup fog was downstairs in the galley eating breakfast. I did not know that, no sir. Of course, the idea to depart on sked despite the fog came from the bar pilot, so that’s the person who’s primarily responsible. But there still plenty of blame to go around. Deets below.
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All right, it’s Blame Time:
The National Transportation Safety Board determined the following probable causes of the accident:
- the pilot’s degraded cognitive performance from his use of prescription medications, despite his completely clean post accident drug test,
- the absence of a comprehensive pre-departure master/pilot exchange and a lack of effective communication between Pilot John Cota and Master Mao Cai Sun during the accident voyage, and
- (COSCO Busan Master) Sun’s ineffective oversight of Cota’s piloting performance and the vessel’s progress.
Other contributing factors included:
- the failure of Fleet Management Ltd. to train the COSCO Busan crewmembers (which led to such acts of gross negligence as the bow lookout eating breakfast in the galley instead of being on watch) and Fleet Management’s failure to ensure that the crew understood and complied with the company’s safety management system;
- the failure of Caltrans to maintain foghorns on the bridge which were silent despite the heavy fog;
- the failure of Vessel Traffic Safety (VTS) to alert Cota and Sun that they were headed for the tower. VTS is legally required to alert a vessel if an accident appears imminent, yet they remained silent;
- the malfunctioning radar on the COSCO Busan, which led Captains Cota and Sun to use an electronic chart for the rest of the voyage. Although Coast Guard investigators found the radar to be in working order, they did not examine it until days after the accident (allowing time for faulty equipment to be fixed, which is not uncommon after a marine accident)
- Captain Sun’s incorrect identification of symbols on the electronic chart;
- the U.S. Coast Guard’s failure to provide adequate medical oversight of Cota, in view of the medical and medication information he had reported to the Coast Guard
Happy Anniversary, Cosco Busan, or should I say MSC Venezia? Don’t ever come back.
*Yeah, Wiki is still wrong on that gallonage figure, partly due to the U.S. Coast Guard sitting on information for months and months ’cause they didn’t want to earn themselves any more bad press.