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Maritime Week salutes U.S. Coast Guard in Sturgeon Bay

The U.S. Coast Guard ice breaker, Mackinaw, August 8, 2017. (WLUK/Eric Peterson)

STURGEON BAY (WLUK) -- People are celebrating the nautical history and culture of Door County with a salute to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Maritime Week is underway in Sturgeon Bay.

Even moored to the dock at Graham Park, Joe Miller says the 240-foot long Mackinaw is impressive.

"I am on leave from the Coast Guard. I wish I was on that. It's nice. It's new, and it's nice," said Joe Miller, U.S. Coast Guard.

The U.S. Coast Guard ice breaker is in town as part of Maritime Week in Sturgeon Bay. The Door County Maritime Museum is coordinating the event.

"Maritime Week is to celebrate the heritage of Door County, and all those that have come before us, and all those who are active now, who are really making a difference in our community," said Amy Paul, Door County Maritime Museum Executive Director.

Sturgeon Bay is one of 20 communities designated as an official Coast Guard city, and the only one in Wisconsin. And at the end Canal Road, Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay has been part of the community for more than a century.

"I've been in Sturgeon Bay for a little over five years," said Andrew Michaels, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer.

Michaels says a total of about 30 personnel from all over the country, man the station 24-7.

The missions include conducting law enforcement, and search and rescue.

"We can get these boats underway in about two or three minutes," said Michaels.

Michaels says he feels part of the community, and the Maritime Week Salute is good for the crew.

"It brings awareness to the public what we do out here, and I think it allows our guys here to feel that recognition. Maybe that pat on the back and the job well done," he said.

Michaels says he has about eight more years until retirement.

"I would like to stay in the Sturgeon Bay area. But who's to say where the Coast Guard will put me next. Maybe if that place will be just as interesting as this one," he said.

Maritime Week continues through Sunday.

Events include concerts, a golf outing, and even a boat building contest and race on Saturday.

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