The Inspirational Story Behind The USCG’s Ninth FRC Namesake, Kathleen Moore

Mike Schuler
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April 1, 2014

USCGC Kathleen Moore. Photo courtesy Bollinger Shipyards

Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, Louisiana has delivered the KATHLEEN MOORE, the ninth Fast Response Cutter (FRC) to the U.S. Coast Guard.

As with each FRC, the new cutter is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty, in this case Lighthouse Keeper Kathleen Moore.

Kate, as she was often referred, first stood watch in 1817 at the age of 12 when her father began tending the Black Rock Harbor Light on Fayerweather Island, just off Bridgeport, Connecticut, after a shipboard injury prevented him from going to sea. She took on the duties herself as her father’s health worsened, although she was not officially appointed as head keeper until 1871. She served the Black Rock Harbor station for an astounding 72 years where she continually braved the harsh storms of Long Island Sound to save those in peril.

Moore was officially credited with selflessly saving 21 lives, although not recognized for her heroics until late in her life, and her light made the difference between a successful journey and catastrophe for more than two hundred vessels sailing the sound nightly.

“Sometimes there were more than two hundred sailing vessels at night, and some nights there were as many as three or four wrecks,” she has been quoted as saying.

“On windy nights,” Kate reported, “the light would go out,” so she would spend sleepless nights watching to make sure the light stayed lit.

The 154 foot patrol craft is the ninth vessel in the Coast Guard’s Sentinel-class FRC program. The FRC design is based on a proven, in-service parent craft design of the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. It has a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology, and a stern launch system for the vessels 26 foot cutter boat. The FRC has been described as an operational “game changer,” by senior Coast Guard officials.

Bollinger President, Chris Bollinger announced the successful delivery of the USCGC KATHLEEN MOORE to the 7th Coast Guard District in Key West, FL, stating, “We are very pleased with the latest delivery of this high quality Fast Response Cutter built by the Bollinger team. Once again, this is another successful FRC delivery that is on schedule and on budget. We are all looking forward to the vessel’s commissioning, as well as honoring and celebrating the heroic acts of Lighthouse Keeper Kathleen Moore.”

The Coast Guard took delivery on March 28, 2014 in Key West, Florida and is scheduled to commission the vessel in Key West, Florida during May, 2014.

More about Kathleen Moore can be found in this great article.

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