The US Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia arrived in Palau yesterday, October 15, at around noontime to resume work on the Aids to Navigation project to develop Palau’s shipping routes.
The 225-foot Seagoing Buoy Tender will be responsible for establishing floating buoys as markers for vessel-operators to determine how close their vessels are to underwater hazards. Although their point of anchor has yet to be confirmed, the Sequoia’s efforts in May and June of this year established ten new buoys and repaired 43 existing ones in the West Passage, Malakal Harbor, and Malakal Pass.
The United States Embassy has said that none of the crew of the Sequoia are expected to come ashore. The Embassy also says that the crew has completed over 14 days of quarantine aboard the ship, and has all tested negative for COVID.
The US navy divers who arrived in September and completed their quarantine will be helping the Coast Guard to establish the navigation aids from the water.
According to the Embassy, the Coast Guard Cutter was originally scheduled to arrive in Palau’s waters on October 12 and continue the project until today, October 16. However, the delayed arrival from Guam will likely mean a shift in schedule.
The Sequoia is normally based in Apra Harbor in Guam, and is responsible for providing aids to navigation and conducting marine protection and law enforcement in Guam and the Marianas.
The arrival of the Sequoia coincides with other incoming military personnel and vessels, such as the naval ship USS Comstock, and the United States Secretary of the Navy, Kenneth J. Braithwaite, who is expected to arrive in Palau on October 18 for a visit of under 24 hours.

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