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HARPATS 2002. Description of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Harbor Patrol Program at MSO Buffalo, NY Michael Kittell DSO-MS, 9ER US Coast Guard Auxiliary N-TRAIN 2002. Introduction. The Coast Guard Auxiliary provides personnel and facilities to support many “Team Coast Guard” missions.

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harpats 2002


Description of the

Coast Guard Auxiliary

Harbor Patrol Program

at MSO Buffalo, NY

Michael Kittell


US Coast Guard Auxiliary

N-TRAIN 2002

  • The Coast Guard Auxiliary provides personnel and facilities to support many “Team Coast Guard” missions.
  • A new and exciting opportunity for the Auxiliary to expand beyond its traditional roles is now available: Marine Safety and Environmental Protection (MS/MEP) Program Support for the Coast Guard.
mso buffalo a o r
MSO Buffalo A.O.R.
  • MSO Buffalo’s area of responsibility extends from the PA/OH border to Ogdensburg NY.
  • It encompasses the largest area of responsibility for an MSO in the 9th District.
mso buffalo s a o r
MSO Buffalo will respond to any oil spill or chemical release that occurs within our area of responsibility (AOR) and that impacts a navigable waterway of the U.S. or any tributary thereto.

For example, if someone dumps used motor oil down a storm drain that leads into a small creek ...that leads directly into Lake Ontario… MSO Buffalo will respond. We will not respond to an inland lake that has no tributary to a navigable waterway. However, we will help to notify the correct agencies.

MSO Buffalo’s A.O.R.
increasing efficiency
Increasing Efficiency
  • The Auxiliary can now help to increase the efficiency of MSO Buffalo by:
  • Conducting Harbor Patrols
  • Conducting Sea Partners presentations
  • Establishing safety zones
  • Performing MARPOL V visits
  • Conducting Charterboat Examinations
  • And providing Auxiliary air assets
harbor and remote area patrols harpats
Harbor and Remote Area Patrols (HARPATS)
  • HARPATS are the “eyes and ears” of the Captain of the Port.
  • Purpose: To identify hazardous conditions, unsafe work practices, and marine pollution. To document incidents to support appropriate USCG and state actions.
  • Patrols are conducted on a seasonal basis; the frequency of patrols will vary dependent upon patrol area.
  • Trained and qualified Auxiliary Harbor Safety Specialists can assist the Captain of the Port by conducting harbor patrols (HARPATS).
eligibility for harpats
Boat crew qualification is not necessary to participate in the Harbor Safety Specialist (HSS) program as patrols are done by both conventional waterborne facilities and also by automobile. If the patrol is conducted by waterborne facility the crew manning regulations must be strictly adhered to! If the HSS is neither the qualified coxswain or crew, then these must be filled by qualified Auxiliary personnel.

Automobile HARPATS must be conducted by at least two persons, one of whom holds a valid N.Y. State drivers license and is a qualified HSS. This can be the same person. (The requirements for HSS can be split up or held by one person, as long as all required positions are filled by the members participating in the HARPAT.)

Eligibility for HARPATS
conducting harpats
Conducting HARPATs
  • Harbor Patrols may be conducted by one or more persons, at least one of whom will be a qualified Harbor Safety Specialist. The qualified member will be responsible for instructing trainees in proper harbor patrol procedures and completing harbor patrol report.
  • The responsibility for the safe operation of the Auxiliary Facility lies with the Coxswain. If he/she is not HSS qualified, the execution and direction of the HARPAT lies with the HSS (to the extent that safety is not compromised).
orders for harpats
Orders for HARPATs
  • Auxiliarists require orders to ensure they are covered for liability purposes and for reimbursement.
  • Routine harbor patrols are scheduled with the MSO Auxiliary Liaison at least one week in advance.
  • A patrol order number and hard copy of orders must be issued by the MSO prior to conducting a harbor patrol.
  • Patrol vessels, either waterborne vessels or automobiles, will have adequate communication capabilities with the MSO as well as with the local Station or Group Buffalo.
  • Communications could include marine radio, cellular phones and pagers.
  • Harbor Safety Specialist candidates must complete the quals book (“PQS”).
  • Training for harbor patrol qualification consists of both underway patrols and classroom instruction. The training is conducted by MSO active duty personnel and qualified Auxiliarists.
  • At the completion of the training requirements, an oral board is held to review the knowledge and experience level of the candidate prior to approving qualification
final approval
Final Approval
  • The recommendation for final approval goes to the Commanding Officer, MSO Buffalo.
  • Qualification letters are issued by Marine Safety Office Buffalo.
  • Original copy goes to the Auxiliarist.
  • Copy to DSO-IS and D9 (oax).
  • Copy is kept on file at the MSO for duration.
opportunities for auxiliary members at mso buffalo
Opportunities for Auxiliary Members at MSO Buffalo
  • WANTED: Enthusiastic Auxiliarists for New and exciting opportunities for the Coast Guard Auxiliary to expand beyond its traditional roles in Search and Rescue and Boating Safety have become available. The Auxiliary can now help to increase the efficiency of MSO Buffalo by conducting Harbor Patrols, conducting Sea Partners presentations, establishing Safety Zones, performing MARPOL V visits, conducting Charterboat Examinations, and providing Auxiliary air assets. Come and join us!
  • Contact MSO Buffalo at (716) 843-9570 or Michael Kittell, DSO-MS, 9ER at: [email protected]