Today we’ll talk about the anniversary this week of the 1966 opening of the Astoria Megler Bridge across the Columbia, and share some memories from Long Beach Penisula historian Frank Lehn, who crossed the bridge as a kid on vacation with his family. Frank featured an article about the bridges historic opening on his Facebook Page: The Long Beach Peninsula Friends of Facebook, a great local source for PNW information and photos.
Cruise ships under a no-sail order in the U.S. per a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Order put in place last week. There had been a no-sail order in place that would have expired July 24.
Astoria saw the return this past weekend of a young gal who graduated from high school here, and is now first officer on the cable ship Decisive, which was moored at the Port of Astoria docks. Her name is Alysia Johnson, and she’s the daughter of Columbia River Bar Pilot Capt. Robert Johnson. We’ll hear a bit about her life on board.
More on shiphandling – how to wrangle vessels at sea.
I’ve gotten some questions from listeners about ships arriving in the Columbia River from China, and possible Coronavirus risks.
So I contacted our local USCG folks at Air Station Astoria, where the Captain of the Port for the Columbia is located. Here’s their reply:
- The Coast Guard is supporting nationwide efforts to prevent, protect, and mitigate the spread of the Novel Coronavirus.
- Vessels carrying passengers that have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) or embarked passengers who have been in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States.
- The Coast Guard is assessing all Advanced Notice of Arrival Reports from inbound vessels to determine if the vessel has visited a country impacted by the Novel Coronavirus within the last five ports of call.
- The health and safety of the American people is our top priority.
- The Coast Guard will review all Advanced Notice of Arrivals from inbound vessels to determine if a vessel has visited a country impacted by the Novel Coronavirus outbreak within its last five ports of call.
- Vessel representatives are required to report sick or deceased crew or passengers within the last 15 days to the CDC.
We don’t usually get cruise ships here this time of year, so that caveat probably doesn’t apply to us here right now. The trip from China to here takes at least two weeks by cargo ship, so anyone who is not showing symptoms would have enough time to be visibly ill by the time they got here. Vessels are also being monitored for their last five ports of call before they get here, to assess risks.
This month I had a request from the USCG at Air Station Astoria, where they asked if one of their personnel could come on the show and talk about safety, just before the 4th of July holiday weekend. They wanted to let people know about the dangers inherent in living in a dynamic coastal area like the Oregon and Wasington coast, and about the laws regarding fireworks use. I learned some things I didn’t know. For instance, did you know it’s a felony to shoot off a flare for fun? Flares on not fireworks and if you shoot one into the sky and a USCG rescue is launched because of it, you could be charged with a felony and get fined big bucks. So, lots to learn here. The Coast Guard does so much for us, let’s not make them work any harder than they have to. Here is some sage and valuable advice from USCG Petty Officer Trevor Lilburn: