USCG MSO - Savannah

Marine Safety Office Savannah (MSO Savannah)

The United States Coast Guard's homeland security mission is not new to us.  It is more visible today than it was prior to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, but it is just as important as it was when we first began protecting our national sovereignty 211 years ago.  The Coast Guard maintains a clear vision and a keen sense of vigilance while keeping watch for threats to our security and those who would do us harm.

The Coast Guard's homeland security role includes:

  • Protect ports, the flow of commerce, and the marine transportation system from terrorism.
  • Maintain maritime border security against illegal drugs, illegal aliens, firearms, and weapons of mass destruction.
  • Ensure that we can rapidly deploy and resupply our military assets, both by keeping Coast Guard units at a high state of readiness, and by keeping marine transportation open for the transit assets and personnel from other branches of the armed forces.
  • Protect against illegal fishing and indiscriminate destruction of living marine resources, prevention and response to oil and hazardous material spills--both accidental and intentional.
  • Coordinate efforts and intelligence with federal, state, and local agencies.

MSO Savannah is a Coast Guard field unit responsible for the execution of statutory duties and missions within an area of responsibility (AOR) ranging from the Southern portion of Edisto Island, South Carolina to Cumberland Island, Georgia, and from the western Georgia State lines out to two hundred miles offshore.  The mission of the unit is to protect life and property, and to safeguard the marine environment through comprehensive prevention and response.

To accomplish this mission MSO Savannah:

  • Conducts inspections of U.S. and Foreign commercial vessels that come to ports within the AOR.
  • Conducts inspections of facilities authorized for the marine transportation of hazardous materials and oils.
  • Investigates marine casualties and pollution incidents.
  • Conducts port security and homeland defense operations and coordinates contributing activities of other Coast Guard units along with Federal, State and Local agency activities in support of port security and homeland defense.
  • Protects the marine environment from hazardous chemicals and oil spills.
  • Coordinates response to incidents of hazardous material releases or oil spills should they occur.

Savannah is one of the busiest ports in the United States, and there is a very high volume of commercial and recreational vessel traffic present in the AOR everyday.  This presents many challenges to the men and women of MSO Savannah.  In order to meet the challenges of these diverse and important missions throughout the large AOR, MSO Savannah has developed a long history of working closely with other Federal, State and local government agencies, the public, and maritime industry.  This community partnership has enabled MSO Savannah and her crew of modest number to meet the challenge of protecting life and property, and safeguarding the environment.  And has earned them a reputation as a premier maritime safety service.