Friday, February 9, 2018

New Hawaiian Cutter

By Karen Robes Meeks

On Sunday, the US Coast Guard welcomed the cutter Joseph Gerczak, the second of three 154-foot fast response cutters that will serve the main Hawaiian Islands.

The cutter, which is expected to be commissioned on March 9, is named after Joseph Gerczak, a first-responder who died defending the USS LST-66 from Japanese bombers in 1943.

It is one of the 58 first-response cutters the Coast Guard acquired to replace smaller patrol boats. The new vessels are built for various missions, including search and rescue; fisheries enforcement; drug and migrant interdiction and national defense.

When all three cutters arrive by 2019, it will improve the Coast Guard’s on-water presence by 40 percent.