Coast Guard shorthanded as they aid in Harvey relief efforts - WNEM TV 5

Coast Guard shorthanded as they aid in Harvey relief efforts

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ESSEXVILLE, MI (WNEM) -

Dominic Ferraro isn't your average Bay City tourist.

He's not visiting to see the tall ships or shop downtown, he's here to lend a hand to the Saginaw River Coast Guard base. They became shorthanded after sending crew to Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

"So, sending six is quite an impact so we had to get two boat drivers, we had to get crewmen and engineers to help fill in the gaps,” said Jason Kuzik, executive petty officer.

One of those gaps was filled by Ferraro, who is originally stationed in Harbor Beach. They had enough crew to spare.

"The transition was pretty hectic because we didn't really have much notice. It was more of a one day I’m at Harbor Beach the next day I’m down here. But everyone was really nice and very cooperative in helping us get set up here,” Ferraro said.

Ferraro said the U.S. Coast Huard is always preparing for disaster relief. They hold standards at each base to make transferring personnel easy.

Months of training go into an all hands-on deck effort, whether it's Hurricane Harvey in Texas or Labor Day weekend in Michigan.

"It's a busy weekend. It's one of the busiest weekends of the year. So, it's the last hoorah for most boaters for the year so it can be pretty hectic at times, but as long as we get everybody to wear their life jackets and boat safe and boat sober it should be a pretty calm weekend,” Kuzik said.

Ferraro said in his own way filling in allows him to help with Harvey relief effort while also keeping Mid-Michigan safe over the weekend.

“This will be my first Labor Day in service so I’m not too worried about it,” he said. 

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