Coast Guard Station Removes Top Officer over 'Loss of Confidence'

Coast Guard Station Noyo River. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Pamela J. Boehland)
Coast Guard Station Noyo River. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Pamela J. Boehland)

The Coast Guard temporarily relieved the officer-in-charge of Station Noyo River in Fort Bragg, citing a loss of confidence in the officer's ability to lead.

Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate Ryan Sanford, who assumed the role of officer-in-charge at Station Noyo River in July 2016, was temporarily reassigned to the station's parent command center at Sector Humboldt Bay while Coast Guard headquarters completes a formal review, district commander Rear Admiral Todd Sokalzuk said.

The matters under review did not present a danger to the public, Sokalzuk said in a statement.

Dan Dewell, a Coast Guard spokesman, would not specify the exact cause but noted that Sanford's removal was not prompted by a specific incident.

"It's usually not one thing, it's usually a pattern of different things that erode the confidence of the senior people, so they feel the person should come out," Dewell said. "It's a general feeling on the part of the admiral that this person should not be in the post."

Whether or not Sanford's removal from the officer-in-charge post is permanent will be decided by Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., Dewell said.

Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Moore, from Sector Humboldt Bay, will take over as temporary officer-in-charge while the review is completed.

The station at Fort Bragg is one of 13 search and rescue boat stations in the 11th Coast Guard District, with a crew of 29 that covers approximately 100 miles of the Northern California coast.

This article is written by Annie Ma from San Francisco Chronicle and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

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