MSU VALDEZ COMMAND
Commander Patrick Drayer
Commander Patrick Drayer reported to Marine Safety Unit Valdez from Marine Safety Unit Duluth, MN where he served as Executive Officer. As Executive Officer, Commander Drayer was responsible for the safety, security, and environmental protection on Western Lake Superior, an area spanning three states and 700 miles of international border with Canada. In his role as alternate Captain of the Port and Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, Commander Drayer worked closely with federal, state, local law and tribal enforcement, environmental response, and emergency management agencies in preparedness, prevention, and response efforts to protect the free flow of commerce at the head of the Great Lakes Marine Transportation System. Prior to this assignment, Commander Drayer served as the Passenger Vessel Safety Specialist for the Thirteenth Coast Guard District in Seattle, WA, where he coordinated the Mass Rescue Operations program in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, he served as the District Manager for all the marine casualty investigations and enforcement programs within the District.
Commander Drayer enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1993. He served shore assignments at Support Elizabeth City and Station Michigan City. Afloat assignments as a Quartermaster include CGC IRONWOOD (WLB-297) while active duty and CGC ACACIA (WLB-406) as an active reservist. He was commissioned in 2003 through the Maritime Academy Reserve Training Program and returned to active duty. As a Prevention Officer, Commander Drayer served at the National Maritime Center, Sector Miami, Sector Sault Sainte Marie, and Sector Juneau.
Originally hailing from Columbus, OH, Commander Drayer is a graduate of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Ferris State University.
Lieutenant Commander Sara Ellis-Sanborn
LCDR Sara Ellis-Sanborn reported to Marine Safety Unit Valdez in 2018 from the International Port Security Program at Atlantic Area in Portsmouth, VA, where she served as Head of Delegation/Port Security Assessor, having conducted assessments in Barbados, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Grenada, Cabo Verde, Tunisia, the Republic of Georgia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, New Zealand, Tonga, and Belize. Her other assignments included Atlantic Area's Office of Response (2012-2016), the one-year Investigations Industry Training at McAllister Towing in Norfolk, VA (2011-2012), Chief of Inspections and Investigations at Marine Safety Unit Cleveland (2008-2011), a marine inspections tour at Sector New Orleans (2005-2008), and Coast Guard Headquarters' Office of Response (2003-2005).
LCDR Ellis-Sanborn, who hails from Kernersville, NC, joined the Coast Guard in 2002 through the College Student Pre-commissioning Initiative, during which time she was assigned to Recruiting Office Wilmington, NC. She holds a Bachelors in Geology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, a Masters in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She and her husband, Tom Sanborn, have three kids: Bella, 4; Jack, 7; and James, 9. Tom is prior Coast Guard and works for the City of Valdez.