US Coast Guard commissions 16th fast response cutter Winslow Griesser

The U.S. Coast Guard on March 11 commissioned its 16th fast response cutter, Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, after receiving the vessel in December 2015.

The cutter is the fourth FRC stationed in San Juan. The other 12 FRCs in service are stationed in Florida – six in Miami and six in Key West.

Bollinger Shipyards is building the U.S. Coast Goard Sentinel-class fast response cutters based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708 design.

The 16th FRC was named after Winslow W. Griesser, a keeper of the Buffalo, New York, lifesaving station who was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal for his rescue of a man thrown into the sea when two large boats broke loose from their moorings Nov. 21, 1900. Griesser’s great-granddaughter, Paula Griesser Fairfield, is the ship’s sponsor.

FRCs patrol the near-offshore environment conducting a variety of missions, including drug and migrant interdiction; ports, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; and search and rescue. The ships are 154 feet long with a range of 2,950 nautical miles  They are replacing the Island-class 110-foot patrol boats, which entered service in the 1980s.

The service has ordered 32 FRCs of 58 planned. The 17th FRC was delivered March 5 and is scheduled for commissioning in San Juan in mid-2016.