With nearly seven and a half decades of water in her wake, Smilax is the oldest U.S. Coast Guard cutter in service today and she turns 75 on November 1.
Tag: buoy tender
The Coast Guard improved the proficiency and safety of afloat operations after the unfortunate circumstances of the sinking of the Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn in 1980, as well as the White Alder in 1968 and Cuyahoga in 1978. After 35 years of service, the buoy tender Blackthorn collided with a 600-foot tanker S.S. Capricorn losing 23 of 50 crew members, Jan. 28, 1980. We pause to remember Blackthorn and our lost shipmates nearly 40 years after its sinking.
On Saturday, December 7, 1968, White Alder was steaming down-bound on the Mississippi River. At approximately 6:30 p.m., it collided with the up-bound motor vessel Helena, a 455-foot Taiwanese freighter. The 133-foot buoy tender sunk in 75 feet of water with three of its crew surviving, the rest entombed in the sunken cutter.
The Coast Guard’s Inland Fleet provides a vital service to the United States through its work in maintaining fixed and floating aids to navigation along coastlines and riverbanks throughout the country. Hundreds of Coast Guard members tirelessly battle with outdated equipment and substandard accommodations to ensure the mission is completed. As the Coast Guard continues to modernize its assets, replacing the Inland Fleet is a necessity to ensure the service can remain Semper Paratus in all of its missions.
Units and personnel of the U.S. Coast Guard and its predecessor services have served with distinction in every major American conflict and 2003’s Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) proved no exception to this rule. In OIF, the Coast Guard excelled in its specialties of port security, coastal and environmental security, and maritime interdiction operations. At the height of combat operations, 1,250 Coast Guard personnel served in OIF. Coast Guard vessels and land-based personnel brought many vital capabilities to the theater of operations, including aids-to-navigation.
Coast Guard Cutter Frank Drew is a 175-foot Keeper-class coastal buoy tender. First launched in 1999, the primary mission for the crew is servicing aids to navigation. Like other Coast Guard asset’s however, the crew has additional roles and responsibilities, including ice breaking, search and rescue and coastal security.
The Coast Guard continues our #NewYearNewFilter and the launch of our official Instagram account with a new perspective this week! Seaman Rebecca Ward will take over the Coast Guard’s Instagram account this week to share her life aboard a Coast Guard buoy tender.
Would you believe it if someone told you the Coast Guard was in Minneapolis, Minn., or Omaha, Neb.? As a matter of fact, the Coast Guard has units in both places and many others in the upper Midwest region. Their work may be local, but the missions they perform have a global effect.
As the bitter winter temperatures come to an end and the ice that frosts the Hudson River begins to melt, preparations for the spring and summer months are in full effect as Coast Guard Cutter Katherine Walker makes its way north towards Albany, N.Y. The Katherine Walker is a 175-foot buoy tender, homeported in Bayonne, N.J. Its major mission includes the servicing of aids to navigation throughout New York Harbor, Western Long Island Sound, the Hudson and East Rivers, as well as other waters along the Connecticut, New York and New Jersey coastlines.
If you’re looking for Alaskan adventure and gritty challenges, look no further than Coast Guard Cutter SPAR. Known as the “Aleutian Keeper,” the men and women aboard SPAR continuously brave every mission that comes their way – no easy feat while sailing the waters of the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea.