US Coast Guard, NYPD boats guard the water at the UN General Assembly

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This week, the United Nations is the world’s premier venue for current events – which, you could say, is the strength of the US Coast Guard.

So naturally, the military branch boats are a known presence at the UN General Assembly, guarding the United Nations waterline alongside New York City’s police boats. While three sides of the perimeter around UN headquarters are barricaded, the United Nations’ proximity to the East River requires a different security arrangement.

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The UN General Assembly is conducting “the largest maritime security operation in the nation,” said US Coast Guard Cmdr. Kyle Weist, chief of emergency response for the New York sector.

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In addition to patrolling the stretch between the United Nations and the Long Island City portion of Queens, the Coast Guard also has teams boarding ships arriving in New York and New Jersey ports.

“The entire operation will last two weeks and will consist of 20 small boats and crews, four coast guard vessels, two helicopters and 12 law enforcement boarding teams.” Weist said via email. “These assets and crews are being mobilized by units across the country and deployed in NYC to support this critical maritime safety and security mission.”

Although it is usually a steep descent from the UN site to the water, there is a coastguard cutter capable of breaking ice that is moored to a makeshift dock. That cutter, the Penobscot Bay, serves as a platform to oversee Coast Guard operations on the East River.

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The land barriers are notoriously disruptive to New Yorkers, and the top makes the boat rock the same way on the water. Several NYC Ferry routes were delayed or suspended altogether on Wednesday, with a service advisory for the duration of the General Assembly.

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