Just as the U.S. is increasingly fortifying its coastal security, Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, La. has built, delivered and seen the commissioning of a new 87-ft. coastal patrol boat, USCG Sturgeon, for the U.S. Coast Guard at Grand Isle, La. The new boat will replace the 82-ft. patrol boat Point Sal, that was commissioned in 1966.
Sturgeon is the 36th of 50 nearly identical vessels being built by Bollinger for the Coast Guard in a contract worth more than $200 million.
Sturgeon has a 17.4 ft. beam and a 5.9 ft. draft. It is powered by two MTU diesel engines with a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 882 nautical miles. It has a crew of 10 and accommodations for 11. The new shallow draft cutter equipped with state-of-the-art technology, is designed to operate up to 200 mi. offshore, as well as near shore. It is equipped with a larger pilothouse than the boat it replaces, providing 360-degree visibility with an integrated and sophisticated command and control system. It also has a stern launch and recovery system for a small aluminum boat with rubber side guards (RIB) that improves efficiency and safety over the present crane launch and recovery system employed on the boat it replaces.
The Sturgeon is capable of meeting its maritime missions of search and rescue, law enforcement, marine environmental response and protection, commercial vessel safety, recreational boating safety and national defense. It is designed to work closely with the Coast Guard's future deep-water assets and all of its aircraft. The cutter is uniquely capable of providing home defense
and is expected to provide added security for Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) and offshore energy platforms.
According to Boysie Bollinger at the delivery ceremony, the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11 have once again focused attention on the Coast Guard and its inestimable value to our country and its homeland security. Within minutes after the attacks on the World Trade Towers, Coast Guard Cutters and their crews were assisting in the area emergency response agencies. They transported medical aid and logistical personnel and provided security for New York harbor. Twelve Coast Guard cutters are now patrolling New York harbor including the Bollinger-built Ridley, a sister ship to Sturgeon, and four Bollinger-built island Class cutters, Adak, Grand Isle, Monomy and Bainbridge Island.