Fleet Week ships begin tours on Portland waterfront

KGW meteorologist Rod Hill visits the USS Bunker Hill

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Fleet Week is back as part of the Rose Festival, meaning Portlanders will have a chance to tour several U.S. and Canada ships, and to celebrate and thank military service members and veterans.

Fleet Week also means drivers, cyclists and pedestrians should expect many more downtown Portland bridge lifts than normal over the next few days.

Tap here to see which bridges are up!

Visiting ships and other vessels, like submarines, have been gracing Portland's waterfront as part of the Rose Festival since 1907, according to festival spokesman Rich Jarvis. 

"The Portland Rose Festival is extremely fortunate to be one of a few U.S. Ports of Call for a courtesy visit from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Navy," Jarvis said. "And citizens enjoy making these visitors welcome!"

The first group of visiting ships arrived Wednesday and tied up between the Morrison and Burnside bridges. The rest arrived Thursday and tied up between the Steel and Burnside bridges.

Watch: Portland fire boat welcomes Fleet Week ships

As far as security goes, government agencies say it's always tight, and they're not doing anything differently in light of the recent attacks in Europe.

"We don't have any known threats or anything or any protest activity that we expect," said Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Still, fire inspectors and Coast Guard officials are walking the waterfront, looking to make sure the Fleet Week ships have a clear path to dock. But potential hazards can also be underwater.

"In years past, we send physical divers down into the water to clear the seawall to make sure it's free of obstructions or anything that could be hazardous to the ships," said Lt. Marc Shrake of the Multnomah Co. Sheriff's Office.

For the first time ever this year, the Coast Guard will instead send remote operated water drones down to look for weapons or devices.

The fun part of Fleet Week is touring the Navy and Coast Guard ships. Officials say every member of the public will go through airport-like screening and must have a government issued photo ID to step onboard.

Pleasure boats traveling through the secure zone between the Hawthorne and Steel Bridges will be stopped and potentially searched for weapons or other devices before they're allowed through.

Two ships will depart Sunday morning and the rest will set out Monday by about noon (full schedule below).

Arrivals:

Wednesday, June 7 (Burnside, Steel and Broadway bridge lifts required)

  • HMCS Brandon (arriving around 1 p.m.)
  • HMCS Edmonton (arriving around 1 p.m.)
  • USCGC Alert (arriving around 3 p.m.)
  • USCGC Orcas (arriving around 3 p.m.)
  • USCGC Bluebell (arriving around 3 p.m.)
  • USCGC T/V Ironwood (arriving around 3 p.m.)

Thursday, June 8 (Steel and Broadway bridge lifts required)

  • USS Bunker Hill (arriving around 3 p.m.)
  • USS Jackson (arriving around 3 p.m.)

Tours

US NAVY:

  • Bunker Hill: 9:30 a.m. to noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Jackson: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday

US COAST GUARD:

  • All ships: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday
  • All ships (except  USCGC Alert): 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday
  • USCG T/V Ironwood: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday  

CANADIAN:

  • All Ships: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Sunday

Departures:

Sunday, June 11

  • USCGC Alert – in the morning
  • USCGC Orcas – in the morning

Monday, June 12

  • USS Bunker Hill – in the morning
  • USS Jackson – in the morning
  • HMCS Brandon – about noon
  • HMCS Edmonton – about noon
  • USCGC T/V Ironwood – about noon

 

Click for more from RoseFestival.org

 

© 2017 KGW-TV


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