Friday, July 8, 2011

Is this cutter too dinky for Alaska?

The 110-foot island class cutter Chandeleur.

The U.S. Coast Guard intends to transfer the cutter Chandeleur from Miami, Fla., to Ketchikan to replace the Acushnet, which was decommissioned in March.

But some folks, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are unhappy with the swap.

The Chandeleur is a 110-foot "island class" patrol boat, while the Acushnet was a 213-foot "medium endurance" cutter.

Murkowski, in this press release, suggests the replacement cutter is too small and "will have difficulty making it far out into just the Gulf of Alaska."

She's also concerned the Chandeleur won't arrive in Ketchikan for months pending an overhaul, as this Coast Guard letter explains.

The Chandeleur is named after the Chandeleur Islands, a chain of barrier islands off Louisiana.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That 110' vessel with a 6.5 foot draft(OMG!) barely qualifies for a photo at her christening. This vessel is obviously not designed for winter service in Alaska. I can recall several instances where only a larger vessel could have even attempted a winter rescue during the most savage conditions imaginable. E.G.: Sinking of the crabber F/V St. Matthew. Without the big cutters in Alaska, the Coast Guard is at a serious disadvantage and diminished capability when it comes to effecting a real life wintertime rescue or recovery at sea. Without the proper equipment the Coast Guard cant do their job safely either.