Orange Boat Initiative in Chuuk
Santa Rita, GU— U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam personnel have returned from Chuuk State, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) onboard USNS RED CLOUD. The USNS RED CLOUD was invited by the Governor of Chuuk State, Johnson S. Elimo, to attend the anniversary of Operation Hailstone. In conjunction with the anniversary of such a momentous event the USNS RED CLOUD aligned with the U.S. Coast Guard and took personnel down to Chuuk in support of the Orange Boat Initiative.
The Orange Boat Initiative was launched in 2015 after a successful Search and Rescue Case resulting in the location of an adrift 15 year old male due to the contrasting orange interior of his vessel to the dark blue sea.
The Orange Boat Initiative is one example of several initiatives Coast Guard Sector Guam is working with the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia to enhance search and rescue capacity. Since the program's first operational roll-out in the summer of 2015, over 120 privately-owned skiffs are now equipped with an orange interior paint scheme, greatly enhancing detectability by search aircraft in the event the skiff breaks down and drift away from its intended track. Combined with other life-saving equipment such as life jackets, signal mirrors, flashlights, etc., the likelihood of being located by search and rescue resources following an incident at sea could be significantly improved.
The U.S. Embassy in FSM successfully solicited for vessel owners to participate in the OBI demonstration which resulted in over 92 boats receiving high contrast orange interiors.
On behalf of the international capacity building activities in Chuuk, LCDR Joshua Blocker of the U.S. Coast Guard quoted, "The U.S. Coast Guard is committed to improving the safety of all mariners throughout Oceania”.