Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La., has delivered the 154'x25' William Hart, the 34th fast response cutter (FRC) to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard took delivery on May 23, 2019 in Key West, Fla.
For the FRC, which has a draft of 9'6", Bollinger is using a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. Main propulsion comes from twin MTU 20V4000 M93L diesel engines, producing 2,900 hp each. The patrol boat has a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art command, control, communications and computer technology, and a stern launch system for the vessel’s 26′ cutter boat.
The new cutters have a minimum endurance of five days at sea and a range of 2,950 nautical miles. The FRCs must be capable of underway operations for a minimum of 2,500 hours annually, using the latest technologically advanced command, control, communications and computer technology that are interoperable with other Coast Guard assets.
Each FRC carries a crew of 24 (three officers, 21 enlisted) and is equipped with a stabilized, remotely operated 25mm chain gun and four .50-caliber machine guns.
Recently, the Coast Guard deployed the FRC 1124, Oliver Berry, from Hawaii across the Pacific to the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The 4,400 nautical mile trip marked the furthest deployment of an FRC to date. The trip showcases the hugely expanded operational reach and capability that the FRC provides.
“We are very pleased to announce the latest FRC delivery, the William Hart. Previous cutters have been stationed around the nation including Alaska and Hawaii. The William Hart, the third of three fast response cutters to be homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii, will join the cutters Oliver Berry and Joseph Gerczak," Ben Bordelon, Bollinger's president & CEO, said in a statement announcing the delivery.
Each FRC is named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished himself or herself in the line of duty. This vessel is named after Coast Guard Hero William Hart. In November 1926, while assisting a crew who had abandon ship due to heavy seas and treacherous weather, Hart skillfully maneuvered his boat near the tug and took off the crew. While doing so, one member of the crew of the tug fell overboard and was in imminent danger of drowning. Hart jumped overboard and affected the rescue at great personal risk.
For his heroic and selfless action, Hart was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal on May 24, 1927. Hart was also commended for actions in response to a floating gasoline fire in Arundel Cove while on board CG-210 on Aug. 26, 1927.