Sequester cuts to impact Coast Guard patrols on the Bay

April 28, 2013 5:36:10 PM PDT
While FAA air traffic controllers have been restored after sequester cuts, we've learned that Coast Guard patrols on the San Francisco Bay will be reduced because of budget cuts.

The Bay will see fewer Coast Guard patrols as sequester cuts start to be felt by Homeland Security. While the agency has managed to keep line items like search and rescue operations intact, Bay patrols will be cut back. San Francisco Port Director Monique Moyer says other agencies have to step up.

"What they're not going to be able to do is some of the preventative searches and that's a little disturbing," Moyer said. "So we're going to see how we're going to backfill that at least on the San Francisco side of the Bay with the fire department and police department."

ABC7 News has learned that Bay Area cities with law enforcement patrol boats have been asked to take over some of the routine work like patrolling special events on the Bay and proactive searches.

Word of Bay patrol cuts comes as the FAA brings back air traffic controllers across the nation, ending delays that affected thousands of passengers. Relief is already being felt by passengers here at SFO.

"That's great news that they're not cutting back, because we were delayed coming up here due to the sequestering of air traffic control," airline passenger Mairi Gair said. "It affects a lot of people."

The Gair's were delayed coming up from Southern California. But overall, there was little impact on Bay Area airports.

"I haven't noticed any and I fly every week," airline passenger Larry Boyd said. "So, I haven't really noticed any delays on my flights."

Last week Congress managed to pass a bill restoring the air traffic controllers. But President Barack Obama called it a short-sighted solution.

"So Congress passed a temporary fix, a Band-Aid," Obama said in his weekly address on Saturday. "But these cuts are scheduled to keep falling across other parts of the government that provide vital services for the American people."

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the Board of Supervisors will have to decide how much help the city can give the Coast Guard. That decision has to be made by other Bay Area cities as well.

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