The crew of Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach accepted delivery of the station's newest asset, a 45-foot Response Boat - Medium, which represents the 126th boat in a fleet of 170 being delivered to the service.
The RB-M will replace the aging fleet of 41-foot Utility Boats (UTB) and assorted non-standard boats being used at Coast Guard stations throughout the country.
The UTB has been a workhorse at Coast Guard stations for more than 25 years, but newer boats with increased capabilities are needed.
The RB-M's top speed of 49 miles per hour gets the boat’s crew to the scene faster and reduces crew fatigue. The new design includes a full cabin to protect the crew from the elements, provides heating and air conditioning and features shock-mitigating seats.
The RB-M is more maneuverable, can accommodate light machine guns and its propulsion system complies with EPA and International Maritime Organization emissions standards. It boasts an advanced navigation system and a communication system able to interact with other federal, state, local and homeland security partners.
The RB-M is a multi-mission boat that can operate in coastal zones including inshore and inland waterways and open ocean out to 50 nautical miles. Primary missions for the RB-M include search and rescue; ports, waterways and coastal security; defense readiness and marine environmental protection.
Station Wrightsville Beach’s RB-M is number 126 of approximately 170 boats being delivered to the Coast Guard during a period of eight to 10 years, half of which is being built in Kent, Wash., by Marinette Marine Corporation’s major subcontractor, Kvichak Marine Industries of Seattle, Wash. MMC is building the other half of the fleet in Green Bay, Wis.