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WPIX: On Board With New York City's First Line Of Defense

Newsy's affiliate WPIX joined a six-member boarding team to inspect an inbound container ship from Egypt.
Posted at 10:43 AM, Nov 21, 2019

Is the dawning of a new day and the Coast Guard is out on an early mission to keep our harbors safe by dispatching a boarding party to check out a foreign vessel before allowing it to enter our port with more than 3 million cargo ships carrying $200 billion worth of cargo and during the third busiest port of the country each year, New York recognizes how vulnerable it is to a potential terrorist attack. While the NYPD uses sophisticated technology to check incoming vessels from the air. It is the US Coast Guard that remains our first line of defense. On a recent dreary morning, I was invited to join a six member boarding team who inspect an inbound container ship from Egypt. For 12 miles we filtered through haze and fog, the find the 300 foot Liberian registered channel at Ambrose anchorage

coast guard on channel 09.

The team prepares The board. The Coast Guard command center on Staten Island monitors the waterways around New York. This is like air traffic control of the sea Molinari. 30. Fully northbound

we're monitoring thousands of vessel movements. There's over 5000 foreign vessels that arrive in the harbor carrying cargoes throughout the year. And then on any given day, we're monitoring almost 2000 movements within the harbor between fairies tugs and barges.

Jason chama is Captain of the Port of New York. And it's his responsibility to determine which incoming vessels to board for inspection

we start looking at these ships days before they arrive we look at what countries they've been to we will look at what cargoes are on board. We look at the crew members that are on board and we take a look and make make a risk based decision on what vessels we need to board

never knowing what to expect the boarding team carry sidearms and keeps this automatic onboard.

He has required documents and papers must be location.

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it's fine as long as nobody's in there, the Coast Guard is going to be tasked with doing security boardings, which essentially consists of boarding a vessel ensuring that there's nobody attempting to do subversive acts or anything that could damage

lives property. The Coast Guard boat waits alongside while the team completes is inspected take care of a safe voyage. In just under an hour. The team has inspected everything from the engine room to the bridge.

Captain is cleared to enter the Port of New York

no security risks on board. This is a counterterrorism hazard. When we're going through those passports, we have a list of everyone that's supposed to be on board. I can't slip pass us. We've

gotten a lot smarter. And more discipline since 911. The Coast Guard remains one of our first lines of defense, their discipline simply outsmart the terrorists with counter terrorism measures like this before any effort to attack our shores again. With the Coast Guard at Ambrose Anchorage, I'm Marvin Scott pix 11 News.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai