Station Michigan City
Located at the mouth of Trail Creek and in operation since 1888, Coast Guard Station Michigan City is the sole Lake Michigan unit in Indiana. The Indiana lakeshore boasts sandy beaches and soaring sand dunes that have for generations drawn boaters and beachgoers to its shores. To the west of Michigan City, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore covers more than 15,000 acres of the majestic sand mounds and is one of the more popular tourist attractions. West of the dunes is the International Port of Indiana at Burns Harbor, one of the largest and most modern commercial shipping ports on the Great Lakes. The Station Michigan City area of operations also extends northeast into Michigan waters and includes the charming harbor of New Buffalo.
Station Michigan City is a multi-mission unit with a focus on search and rescue; maritime law enforcement; ports, waterways, and coastal security; and marine environmental protection. The search and rescue mission dates back to the early days of the unit as a U. S. Lifesaving Station in the late 1800s and remains a primary mission of Station Michigan City. The crews responds to an average of 125 search and rescue cases a year, assisting nearly two million dollars in property and saving five lives.
The law enforcement boardings conducted on boats in the area focus primarily on recreational boating safety and boating while intoxicated enforcement. Recreational boating safety inspections ensure that the boater has all of the federally required safety equipment aboard for the size of the boat and checks its serviceability and accessibility. The boardings conducted significantly reduce the number of search and rescue cases.
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Station Michigan City took on the important mission known as ports, waterways, and coastal security. The mission includes regular security patrols of the critical infrastructure along the Indiana and Michigan lakeshore to identify, report, prevent, and protect against potential sabotage by terrorist or insurgent groups. In March of 2003, the Coast Guard joined with many other federal agencies to form the Department of Homeland Security to streamline and improve the focus of these protection activities.
Conducting the vital missions of the unit are Station Michigan City’s 19 enlisted active duty members and 7 enlisted Coast Guard Reservists. The ratings represented are Boatswain’s Mate, Machinery Technician, Storekeeper, and Food Service Specialist. In addition, the unit is augmented by the volunteer members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The unit has three different boats assigned. The 47’ Motor Lifeboat, CG47302, is a heavy weather capable boat that accommodates 4 crewmembers and 5 survivors. The boat can endure 30’ seas and 50 knot winds and if capsized can right itself within a few seconds. The 25’ Response Boat – Small, CG25511, is a smaller, agile, and highly maneuverable vessel well suited to law enforcement and security patrols. The small 14’ skiff is primarily used for ice rescue response.
Overall, the crew of Station Michigan City is well equipped and highly dedicated to its missions. Under Sector Lake Michigan, the crew and unit will continue the commitment to the boaters that ply the waters of Indiana and Michigan, just as the men and women of Coast Guard Station Michigan City have done for generations.
COAST GUARD SECTOR LAKE
2420 S. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee, WI. 53207
Site constructed by: LTJG Christopher D. Meyer, Sector Lake Michigan