Once again, the crew of the District’s command and control vessel, the Dillard, has come to the rescue of biologists based on the remote, windswept Farallon Islands, an isolated speck of land 26 nautical miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge.
On Feb. 21, the Dillard ferried more than three tons of equipment, supplies and personnel to a team of biologists living on the Farallones where there is no food or potable water. “This type of operation not only benefits our maritme partners but keeps the Dillard ready to work offshore when the need arises,” said Kixon Meyer, the Dillard’s captain.
Weather conditions and rough seas often make it difficult for smaller vessels to conduct such an operation. The rocky islands have been blamed for multiple shipwrecks over the centuries, with sailors over time referring to them as “the devil’s teeth” because of the danger they have posed to navigation. This mission was the second time in a year that the Dillard has served as a lifeline for scientists there. Last April, after another resupply ship broke down, the Dillard conducted an emergency operation to bring food, equipment and personnel for resident scientists from the Point Blue Conservation Services.
Just a week earlier, the Dillard and her crew were taking part in training missions with the Coast Guard in a simulated mass casualty water exercise near the Berkeley Pier. “This training is beneficial for both the Coast Guard and the Army Corps, especially with the number and proximity of airports and ferry boats in the Bay,” Meyer said.