Source: Pacific Daily News
U.S. Navy and Coast Guard crews widened a channel in the Federated States of Micronesia to improve navigation safety in Kapingamarangi Atoll.
Members from the Navy’s Underwater Construction Team Two traveled on the Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia to widen the shoal channel in December, according to a news release from the military.
The channel was narrowed because of marine overgrowth.
Controlled explosive dredging techniques, using 6,500 pounds of explosives, removed 10,000 square feet of material over four days.
“This channel widening will allow merchant vessels to more easily navigate the island, which will provide vital supplies to more than 300 residents who call Kapingamarangi home,” said Cmdr. Ryan Adams, commanding officer of the Sequoia.
U.S. Ambassador Carmen G. Cantor said the channel is especially important to the people of Kapingamarangi.
“The widening of the channel will now improve accessibility for commerce and emergency situations, especially when responding to natural disasters,” Cantor said in the news release.
The crew members also delivered approximately 1,700 gallons of bottled drinking water to residents of Kapingamarangi while deployed there The water was provided by the Ayuda Foundation, a non-governmental organization based on Guam.
The water was delivered to a remote drop site under a no-contact policy, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the military stated.
Navy master diver Senior Chief Petty Officer Terence Juergens supervises dive operations in the Kapingamarangi Channel in support of a widening operation Dec. 6, 2021. The Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia carried members from the Navy’s Underwater Construction Team Two to widen the channel, which had narrowed due to marine overgrowth.