Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the Fast Response Cutter Charles David Jr. to the 7th Coast Guard District in Key West, Fla. The 154′ patrol craft will be stationed at USCG Sector Key West and is scheduled for commissioning in November.
The Charles David Jr. is the seventh vessel in the Coast Guard’s Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter (FRC) program. To build the FRC, Lockport, La.-based Bollinger used a parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. It has a flank speed of 28 knots and a stern launch system for the vessels 26′ cutter boat.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. This vessel is named after Coast Guard Hero, Stewards-Mate First Class Charles W. David Jr., who was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps medal for his bravery. On the night of Feb. 3, 1943, the U.S. Army transport USS Dorchester was torpedoed by a U-Boat off the coast of Greenland in the North Atlantic. The CGC Comanche was on the scene and its crew desperately searched for survivors in the frigid waters. David fearlessly volunteered to leave the safe haven of the Comanche to dive overboard to help rescue the Dorchester’s crew. As other crewmen also volunteered to dive in, 93 survivors were rescued out of the freezing waters.
After the last of the survivors were safely aboard, David began to climb the cargo net to the ship’s deck. One of David’s shipmates, Richard Swanson, was having trouble climbing the net due to his freezing limbs. David descended the net with the help of another crewman and pulled Swanson to the deck out of harm’s way. Tragically, David died a few days later from pneumonia.