New Response Boat at Coast Guard Station Port Huron
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The crew of Coast Guard Station Port Huron, Mich., test out their new 45-foot Response Boat-Medium in Lake Huron, Aug. 26, 2013. The crew officially accepted the RB-M, a more capable platform for search and rescue, Aug. 22, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Bethannie Kittrell

The crew of Coast Guard Station Port Huron, Mich., began training on the station's new 45-foot Response-Boat-Medium, Monday after taking possession of the boat last Thursday.

The RB-M can respond faster than previous boats of similar size with a top speed in excess of 40 knots, has advanced search capability with an installed forward-looking infrared search technology, the Coast Guard said. Additionally, with twin jet propulsion, the vessel is able to respond in shallower water.

"We are excited to bring a new and improved boat to the Blue Water Area," said Chief Petty Officer Kevin J. Stryker, officer-in-charge of Station Port Huron. "This new 45-foot response boat will replace the aging 41-foot Utility Boat, greatly enhancing the Coast Guard's capabilities and response time and allowing us to better serve the public."

The boat has a deep-V double-chine hull, which provides a balance of performance and stability. The vessel is also self-righting; if it capsizes in rough seas, the boat is designed to roll back over.

It can handle heavy seas and waves up to 12 feet and carry up to 24 people.

The RB-M is being added to Station Port Huron's current craft complement, consisting of the 41-foot UTB and one 25-foot Response Boat-Small.

With a top speed of more than 40 knots, the highly capable RB-M allows crews to arrive on scene faster. Station Port Huron's crew will continue to use the UTB as the RB-M becomes fully operational and all crewmembers are qualified. Right now, plans are to continue using the UTB until it is removed from the water for the Great Lakes ice season, at which point it will be divested.

The RB-M was built by Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wis.

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