Charleston’s newest Coast Guard Cutter, Oak, a 225-ft Juniper Class seagoing buoy tender was launched Saturday in Marinette, Wis.
Although the launching ceremony is a milestone in the birth of Oak, the cutter still has to undergo extensive work before Oak heads to its new homeport of Charleston, S.C. sometime in late fall of 2002.
U.S. Representative Henry Brown of South Carolina is scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the launch ceremony. Representative Brown’s wife, Billye Brown, the ship’s sponsor, and Coast Guard Seventh District Commander Rear Adm. Jay Carmichael are also scheduled to attend the launch ceremony.
Oak will replace the ageing Coast Guard Cutter Madrona, which has been in service since 1943.
Oak’s primary mission will be to maintain the largest buoys in the Coast Guard’s inventory of more than 50,000 aids to navigation.
Oak, can carry a crew of 40 and has a single controllable pitch propeller
, a bow thruster, a stern thruster for improved maneuverability. It also has a spilled oil recovery system to assist with environmental protection. The cutter has a beam of 46-ft., a draft of 13-ft., and displaces 2,000 tons. The cutter’s power plant consist of two Caterpillar diesel engines and it will have the ability to break 14 inches of ice at three knots.
Oak is the 11th of a planned fleet of sixteen 225-foot Juniper Class seagoing buoy tenders. Seven of the Juniper Class buoy tenders
are already in service with the eighth, the Coast Guard Cutter Aspen, having just arrived at its homeport of San Francisco, Calif.