The rain yesterday beaded up perfectly on every square inch of the US Coast Guard’s latest Sentinel-class cutter, the USCGC Bernard C. Webber. Commissioned last month in Miami, this shiny new ship was built by Bollinger and based on the Damen Stan 4708 design patrol boat. This new class of US Coast Guard patrol boats will eventually replace the aging Island-class 110-foot cutters which have seen heavy use in US coastal areas since the mid-1980s. 18 have been ordered so far.
The 154-foot Webber will deploy independently to conduct missions such as ports, waterways, and coastal security, fishery patrols, drug and illegal migrant law enforcement, search and rescue, and national defense operations along the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the Caribbean.
Rear Admiral Karl Schultz, Director of Governmental and Public Affairs was on board the Webber yesterday, he comments:
The small boat on this vessel is exponentially more capable than what is found on the Island-class patrol boats. The stern-launching system is really a game-changer as it allows faster, and safer operations in higher sea states than before. It’s also a much more stable platform as it displaces nearly 100 tons more than the Island-class patrol cutter.
I think you’ll see us running these vessels maybe 5 plus days at a stretch before returning to port. She is scheduled for 2500 operational hours per year. The 110’s are running at around 2000 to 2200 depending on the country and operations.
The following images were taken on board the Bernard C. Webber yesterday, (c) Robert Almeida/gCaptain.
The following is a video of the small boat being recovered on board the Bernard C. Webber. Boat recovery operations on the Island-class cutters are usually all-hands evolutions. In this case, it’s a very simple, and safe evolution with minimal crew involvement.