Cape Cod Leaders Concerned About Reduced Coast Guard Staffing

SANDWICH – Cape Cod leaders say they’re concerned about the recently reduced hours for search and rescue operations at the Sandwich Coast Guard station. Officials say that due to staffing issues, they’ll reduce from 24/7 coverage to 9 to 5 only on weekdays.

For holiday weekends the station would go back up to round-the-clock coverage.

Barnstable County Commissioner Mark Forest said they would do everything in their power to support the Coast Guard going forward, including advocating for more funding, but worries the change will put extra stress on other stations. 

“These stations are not only important, but they become interconnected with local resources. Local public safety. Local harbormasters,” said Forest.

“If anything their demands are getting greater.”

Forest added that reliable housing could be provided for members of the Coast Guard and other military personnel through expansion of affordable housing options on unused parts of Joint Base Cape Cod. It’s an initiative that has already been brought before MassDevelopment by base officials, though they emphasize expanded housing plans are still in their earliest stages and nothing is concrete. 

Officials with the Sandwich station reportedly said that the community is still in good hands, with plenty of partners around including the air base, Environmental Police and local fire departments. The Woods Hole and Provincetown stations are also unaffected by the staffing change.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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