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Yakym urging Coast Guard to keep Michigan City station open year-round

pixabay.com

Congressman Rudy Yakym has sent a letter to U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Linda Fagan regarding her proposed staffing and service reductions at the Coast Guard Station in Michigan City.

Yakym, in the letter, stated that as the only Lake Michigan Coast Guard Station of its kind in Indiana, the Michigan City Coast Guard Station plays a critical role in the safety and security of Lake Michigan.

He ended the letter, urging that the station remain fully operational year-round rather than only staffed no weekends during summer months like the Coast Guard is proposing.

He emphasized the risk of more fatalities that could come due to longer response times with the reduced hours. 

Below is Yakym’s full letter:

Dear Commandant Fagan,

I am writing to share my serious concerns regarding the proposed staffing and service reduction at the Coast Guard Station location in Michigan City, Indiana.

As you know, the Michigan City Coast Guard Station (CGS) is the only Lake Michigan CGS of its kind located in Indiana, and it plays a critical role in the safety and security of Lake Michigan. This station has several missions, including Search and Rescue, Homeland Security, and Marine Environmental Protection. Outside of the important services the Michigan City CGS provides, it has also been an integral part of the Northern Indiana community for over a century.

The proposed reduction in staffing and hours of operation is of serious concern to me and my constituents because of the possible safety implications. The proposal to only have the station staffed on weekends during the summer months is deeply concerning as Hoosiers and tourists use Lake Michigan for recreational activities year-round. The Michigan City CGS averages 125 search and rescue calls a year. These life-saving operations are an indispensable service to our community. Reducing operating hours will lead to longer response times and increase the chances of fatalities.

I strongly urge you to keep the Michigan City CGS stations fully operational year-round in order to continue to perform critical search and rescue activities for the residents and tourists of northern Indiana. Additionally, I urge the Coast Guard to ensure close consultation and coordination with local officials and law enforcement concerning changes to the operations or staffing of the Michigan City CGS. Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Sincerely,

Rudy Yakym III

Member of Congress

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