Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La., has delivered the 154' fast response cutter (FRC) Oliver Berry to the Coast Guard. The agency took delivery on June 27 in Key West, Fla., and the vessel’s commissioning is scheduled for October in Honolulu.
The new patrol craft is the 24th vessel in the Coast Guard's Sentinel-class FRC program. To build the FRC, Bollinger used a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. It 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 FRC has been described as an operational “game changer,” by senior Coast Guard officials, according to Bollinger officials.
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 Oliver Berry. Berry, a distinguished expert mechanic on USCG aircraft, was lead instructor at the first U.S. military helicopter-training unit established in 1946. He received a letter of commendation from the commandant, Adm. Joseph F. Farley, for his contribution to a 1946 rescue of airliner crash victims in Newfoundland, which required the rapid dismantling, air transport and reassembly of Coast Guard helicopters. Berry was commended for his meritorious service and the outstanding manner in which he performed his duties.
“We are extremely pleased to announce the delivery of the latest FRC. This FRC built by Bollinger Shipyards will be the first to be stationed at U.S. Coast Guard District 14 in Honolulu,” Ben Bordelon, Bollinger’s president and CEO said in a prepared statement.
Previous cutters have been stationed in Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cape May, N.J.; and Ketchikan, Alaska. FRCs already in service have seized multiple tons of narcotics, interdicted thousands of illegal aliens and saved many lives.