Taxpayers cover US Coast Guard party patrols

In this photo taken July 12, 2014, U.S. Coast Guard Seaman Robert Von Bargen is silhouetted by fireworks as he and other Coast Guard personnel out of Station Kings Point, N.Y., keep watch near a barge shooting fireworks off Glen Island in western Long Island Sound near New Rochelle, N.Y. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Hosts setting off elaborate fireworks displays in some areas of the coastal United States enjoy a little-known benefit. Security is provided at no expense by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The maritime agency assigns boats and crews to enforce “safety zones” for some regattas, yacht club parties and even weddings just as it does for municipal fireworks displays.

For two of the of the busiest sectors, Long Island Sound and New York, documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests and interviews by The Associated Press show active-duty Coast Guard crews are involved in security for dozens of privately sponsored events annually. Hosts do not reimburse the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard says it is part of their mandate to protect the boating public, including those who might be drawn to others’ fireworks.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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