LAUTENBERG, PALLONE SECURE COMMITMENT TO KEEP SHARK RIVER OPEN
Coast Guard Complies with Lawmakers' Request to Keep Station Open All Year
At the request of U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ-06), the U.S. Coast Guard committed to keeping the Shark River Coast Guard Station in Avon-by-the-Sea open year-round.
Earlier this week, Sen. Lautenberg and Rep. Pallone sent a letter to the Coast Guard voicing their opposition to a plan to make the station seasonal, shutting it down during the winter months. On Thursday, Coast Guard Rear Admiral Fred M. Rosa, Jr. reached out to the lawmakers to confirm that the station would stay open year-round.
"Shark River is vital to the safety and security of New Jersey's boating and fishing community," said Sen. Lautenberg. "Boaters and fishers using this port need to know that the Coast Guard will be there for them in an emergency. I commend the Coast Guard for keeping the station open and keeping our boaters safe."
"I commend the Coast Guard for recognizing the importance of the Shark River Station, and concluding correctly that it needs to remain open year-round," Pallone said. "The Coast Guard's decision provides fishermen and boaters the peace of mind that if they experience an emergency while at sea the Coast Guard is nearby to respond in a timely fashion."
For years, the Shark River Coast Guard Station has been open year-round, providing critical safety resources for a thriving boating and fishing community. This summer, the Coast Guard announced plans to close the station from October until the week before Memorial Day.
In their letter, Lautenberg and Pallone voiced concern over the proposal since the winter months present riskier conditions for boaters on the Atlantic Ocean. Last year, 13 of the 33 search and rescue cases handled by the station occurred during the off-season months.
The two New Jersey lawmakers wrote that had this station been closed during these emergencies, response boats would have had to travel an additional six miles from the Manasquan Station, which would result in longer response times.
Ten years ago, the Coast Guard proposed a similar plan that would have closed the Shark River Coast Guard Station on November 15th for the winter season. Lautenberg and Pallone were successful in fighting that proposal and for the past decade the station has been staffed with search and rescue support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.