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Posted 8/21/2013

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By Brandon Beach

Crew members from the M/V John A. B. Dillard, Jr., a San Francisco District command and control vessel, conducted emergency towing exercises with U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Pike July 9.

The two crews met just south of the Bay Bridge near Treasure Island, where they completed a series of tow and be-towed maneuvers under gray skies. The exercises took just over an hour, and for the two crews, it was a chance to get reacquainted.

"Each time, we get a better working relationship with the Coast Guard," said Kixon Meyer, captain of the Dillard. "It’s all about speaking the same language."

This was the fourth towing exercise between the two crews in the last two years.

"It’s good training for us. They’re required to do it, so we’re a good asset for them," said Meyer. "We’re out here anyway looking for debris," adding, "It makes it cheap training really, as much as I know the budget is a big deal."

The Pike, which is based on Yerba Buena Island, is an 87-foot patrol boat responsible for search and rescue, homeland security and law enforcement missions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently, the Dillard and Pike teamed up to provide security during America’s Cup races at Marina Green.