Fairly New USCG Cutter Needs Hull Repairs
New U.S. Coastguard ship has rust patches, holes in the hull
Capt. Charles Cashin, who commands the Coast Guard’s newest national security cutter, the Stratton, said he called in engineers last month when his crew discovered a trio of “pinholes” and a fourth hole “slightly smaller than a golf ball” in the ship’s hull.
Cashin said the four holes, discovered in mid-April while the ship was working off the coast of Los Angeles, have been patched for now but the Stratton soon will head to a dry dock for permanent repairs.
“The intent is to get out of the water,” Cashin said. “We are literally just waiting for a contract.”
The holes and other spots of rust on the hull are unusual, given the ship’s age. The Coast Guard took delivery in September and Cashin and his crew put it in operation in October. The ship is based in Alameda, Calif.
The Stratton is one of the third new, 418-foot ships acquired as part of the Coast Guard’s efforts to modernize its aging fleet.
Cmdr. Chris O’Neil, a Coast Guard spokesman in Washington, said engineers aren’t yet sure what why the ship is already having problems with rust and holes but they have concluded it is not a design problem in ship that cost the Coast Guard about $500 million. Similar problems have not been found in the fleet’s two other ships of the same class.