CLEVELAND – The U.S. Coast Guard announced, on June 23, 2006, the award of the Response Boat-Medium production contract, valued at approximately $600 million, to Marinette Marine Corporation of Marinette, Wis.
The first boat is scheduled for delivery to the Coast Guard in late 2007.
The response boat-medium will replace the aging fleet of 41-foot utility boats and assorted non-standard boats that have been the Coast Guard workhorses throughout the United States for more than 25 years.
The response boat-medium will improve the Coast Guard’s readiness and responsiveness throughout the Ninth District Coast Guard, which is responsible for more than 1,500 miles of international border and 6,700 miles of U.S. shoreline spanning eight states and all five Great Lakes.
The response boat-medium will have increased maneuverability and will be capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots (46 m.p.h.) with twin high-output inboard diesel engines that will comply with stringent EPA and International Maritime Organization emissions standards.
“These new boats will allow our Coast Guard men and women to provide a better service to the regional maritime community and work better with all of the federal, state, local and Canadian response agencies that service the Great Lakes,” said Rear Adm. John E. Crowley, Jr., Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District.”
The new boats will improve the Coast Guard’s response on the Great Lakes, but nothing is a greater deterrent of a boating casualty than basic safe boating practices:
~ Always wear a life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD)
~ Always maintain and have on board signaling devices, and only use them if you are in distress
~ Use VHF channel 16 for distress ONLY
~ Don’t operate a vessel under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
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