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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Maritime Domain Awareness

As part of the United States Coast Guard's MDA program, the America's Waterway Watch is a program similar to Neighborhood Watch, in which people who live, work, or play in our maritime domain keep a look out for the unusual.

When something just doesn't look right to the average boater they are encouraged to call the Coast Guard or local law enforcement. Call the National Response Center at 800-424-8802 or 877-24WATCH. If there is immediate danger to life or property, call 9-1-1, or call the Coast Guard on Marine Channel 16.

The Coast Guard lists the following actions as suspicious:

People appearing to be engaged in surveillance of any kind (taking notes, shooting video or photos, making sketches, or asking questions).
Unattended vessels or vehicles in unusual locations.
Lights flashing between boats.
Unusual diving activity.
Unusual number of people on board.
Unusual night operations.
Recovering or tossing items into/onto the waterway or shoreline.
Operating in or passing through an area that does not typically have such activity.
Fishing/hunting in locations not typically used for those activities.
Missing fencing or lighting near sensitive locations.
Anchoring in an area not typically used for anchorage.
Transfer of people or things between ships or between ship and shore outside of port.
Anyone operating in an aggressive manner.
Individuals establishing businesses or roadside food stands near sensitive locations.
Small planes flying over critical locations.
People attempting to buy or rent fishing or recreational vessels with cash for short-term, undefined use.

And remember - "You're in Command" (

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