Group Humboldt Bay
Group Humboldt Bay is located in California and is responsible for port security, search and rescue, maritime safety, and law enforcement.
Coast Guard Group / Air Station Humboldt Bay serves the public along 250 miles of rugged coastline from the Mendocino - Sonoma County line north to the California - Oregon border. Cold Pacific currents, powerful Alaskan winter storms, towering offshore rocks, fog and dangerous harbor entrance bars consistently threaten commercial and recreational vessels operating in the area. The Command Center located at Group / Air Station Humboldt Bay monitors for distress 24 hours a day and directs Coast Guard boats and aircraft to respond to any maritime emergency in the region-- along the coast, well offshore, or even inland. The Group / Air Station also works with many local, state and federal agencies as needed.
Coast Guard Group / Air Station Humboldt Bay was commissioned on June 24, 1977 at the Arcata-Eureka Airport in McKinleyville, CA. This completed a multi-year initiative by local residents to gain a year-round aviation search and rescue (SAR) facility for Northern California. Prior to 1977, an aviation detachment from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco provided air coverage during the summer season, but the response time of over two hours was not fast enough for victims to survive in the 40-50 degree water commonly found along the north coast. Originally named Air Station Arcata, the Group / Air Station was redesignated to its current name in May 1982. The new $3.5 million facility also relocated boat station support offices from nearby Samoa to establish centralized command and control over all Coast Guard assets in the area.
Due to its unique coastal airport location, the facility succeeded in combining the best features of a Coast Guard Group (which traditionally oversees multiple boat stations along a few hundred miles of coastline) with a Coast Guard Air Station (which typically serves one or more Groups, but usually from a removed airport locale). Group / Air Station Humboldt Bay is one of just a few such combined facilities in the Coast Guard. Commonly referred to as Group Humboldt Bay for short, it currently oversees 3 helicopters, 2 patrol boats, and 4 motor lifeboats. An Aids to Navigation Team and a Marine Safety Detachment also serve the region. Twenty-two officers and over 170 enlisted personnel operate these various facilities located at Cresecent City, McKinleyville, Samoa, Eureka, and Fort Bragg, California.
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