Bollinger Shipyards has delivered the 154'x25'5"x9'6" Lawrence Lawson to the Coast Guard, the 20th fast response cutter (FRC) from the Lockport, La., shipyard. The patrol boat is made of steel with an aluminum superstructure and is ABS classed High-Speed Naval Craft. The Sentinel-class FRC was one of WorkBoat’s Significant Boats of the Year in 2013.
The Lawrence Lawson is the second FRC to be stationed at Cape May, N.J. The decision to homeport two FRCs at Cape May is significant because it expands the footprint of FRC operations beyond the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Previous cutters have been stationed in the 7th Coast Guard District in Florida or San Juan, Puerto Rico.
For the FRC, 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. It has a flank speed of 28 knots
“We are very pleased to announce the delivery of the [Lawrence Lawson] to the U.S. Coast Guard, the latest FRC built by Bollinger Shipyards,” Ben Bordelon, Bollinger’s president and CEO, said in a statement announcing the delivery. “FRCs already in commission have seized multiple tons of narcotics, interdicted thousands of illegal aliens and saved many lives.”
The Coast Guard took delivery of the Lawrence Lawson on Oct. 20 in Key West, Fla., and is scheduled to commission the vessel in Cape May early next year. 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.
The FRCs are named for an enlisted Coast Guard hero who distinguished him or herself in the line of duty. Lawrence Lawson was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal on Oct. 17, 1890, for his leadership skills and heroic efforts in the successful rescue of the 18-member crew of the steam vessel Calumet.