Great Lakes Coast Guard search and rescue boats

 

A boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Duluth, Minn., aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium contacts training with an aircrew from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., aboard an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter, in the Duluth Harbor, Sept. 10, 2012.The crews train together to become proficient when having to pass a person or item back and forth during an emergency.Coast Guard photo by SN Vanessa Scasny

A boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Duluth, Minn., aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium contacts training with an aircrew from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., aboard an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter, in the Duluth Harbor, Sept. 10, 2012.The crews train together to become proficient when having to pass a person or item back and forth during an emergency.Coast Guard photo by SN Vanessa Scasny

 

Boating season on the Great Lakes is finally here. With the increase of boaters and paddlers on the lakes the Coast Guard must be ready for any type of emergency. The Coast Guard 9th District is responsible for operations across all five Great Lakes, the Saint Lawrence Seaway and federally navigable waterways throughout the surrounding states. That includes 6,700 miles of shoreline and 1,500 miles of the international border with Canada. Throughout the summer Coast Guard crews work around the clock at 47 small boat stations to keep people safe on the lakes. To do this, the crews rely heavily on their boats.

There are four different types of boats Coast Guard crews use in the Great Lakes and each is uniquely suited to responding to emergencies, preserving life and protecting our nation.

24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water: “The Go Anywhere”

A Coast Guard crew from Station Chincoteague demonstrates the capabilities of the 24-foot Special Purpose Craft - Shallow Water in the Elizabeth River near Portsmouth, Va., Friday, Nov. 21, 2008.  The SPC-SW, a new asset intended to operate in areas that other response boats cannot reach, will enhance capabilities for search and rescue, law enforcement, and Homeland Security missions.  U.S. Coast Guard photo byPetty Officer 3rd Class Mark Jones

A Coast Guard crew from Station Chincoteague demonstrates the capabilities of the 24-foot Special Purpose Craft – Shallow Water in the Elizabeth River near Portsmouth, Va., Friday, Nov. 21, 2008. The SPC-SW, a new asset intended to operate in areas that other response boats cannot reach, will enhance capabilities for search and rescue, law enforcement, and Homeland Security missions.
U.S. Coast Guard photo byPetty Officer 3rd Class Mark Jones

This boat is mainly used for shallow water rescue and security missions. The vessel is 27 feet long and eight feet wide. The draft of the vessel is two feet at normal operating conditions; however the coxswain can raise the twin 150-horsepower outboards to shave an additional seven inches from the operational draft.The vessels size and maneuverability make it a great asset in many parts of the lakes where the water is shallow.

The SPC-SW is has an open cabin making it the perfect platform when working with smaller fishing vessels. The when alongside a fishing vessel the crew of the SPC-SW is at eye level and can easily interact with the other boat’s crew.

A crew from Coast Guard Station Fairport, Ohio, aboard a 25-foot response boat transit through the waters of Lake Erie. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA2 Matthew Schofield

A crew from Coast Guard Station Fairport, Ohio, aboard a 25-foot response boat transit through the waters of Lake Erie.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA2 Matthew Schofield

 

 

25-foot Response Boat-Small: “The Defender”

The Response Boat-Small is a high-speed, easily deployable asset designed to operate in shallow waters along the coastline.

The RB-S is noteworthy for its speed and maneuverability. Time from zero to plane is under four seconds and with a top speed more than 40 knots; the RB-S is perfect for a security, search and rescue or law enforcement mission. The RB-S has a low profile making it easy to trailer, store, or load onto a C-130 aircraft. The RB-S also comes with a full cabin to protect the crew from weather.

45-foot Response Boat-Medium: “A boat for the 21st Century”

Coast Guard Station Milwaukee debuts its new 45-foot Response Boat Medium, shown here in front of the Milwaukee skyline.

Coast Guard Station Milwaukee debuts its new 45-foot Response Boat Medium, shown here in front of the Milwaukee skyline.

This boat is replacing the aging 41-foot utility boat with improvements in performance, efficiency and reliability. The RB-M is 45 feet in length, almost 15 feet wide and has a draft of three feet and four inches, making this vessel the perfect asset for multiple missions.Having worked closely with operational commanders to develop a more capable response boat, the RB-M project has delivered a new boat with significantly increased speed and performance, improving response time and agility for missions. The boats’ also are designed to keep the crew comfortable, decreasing crew fatigue on extended patrols.

The RB-M also has new search-and-rescue technology aboard that can home in on the signal of a transmitting personal locating beacon. With this new technology, the Coast Guard can know your location to within 3 feet in less than 3 minutes.

A Coast Guard boat crew from Coast Guard Station Oswego, N.Y., aboard the 47-foot Motor Life Boat, transit throughout the Oswego Harbor to conduct training with another boat, July 30, 2013. Coast Guard boat crews conduct training to stay proficient when needed in times of emergency. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Bryan Sullivan

A Coast Guard boat crew from Coast Guard Station Oswego, N.Y., aboard the 47-foot Motor Life Boat, transit throughout the Oswego Harbor to conduct training with another boat, July 30, 2013. Coast Guard boat crews conduct training to stay proficient when needed in times of emergency. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Bryan Sullivan

47-foot Motor Life Boat: “The Unstoppable”

The 47′ Motor Life Boat is designed as a first response rescue resource in heavy weather environments such as hurricane-force winds and 20-foot breaking seas.

Weather in the Great Lakes can be unpredictable and fierce, so the Coast Guard crews need to be ready for the worst.

MLBs are built to withstand the most severe conditions on the water and are capable of conducting a rescue in the lakes even under the most difficult circumstances. They are self-bailing, self-righting, almost unsinkable, and have a long cruising radius for their size.

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One Response

  1. Daryl McGrath says:

    Can you tell what this one is? From Station Marquette.