Costa Rica to commission former US Coast Guard cutters in April

Costa Rica Coast Guard officials recently visited the US Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland as Costa Rica moves closer to operating the two 110-foot patrol boats it received through a transfer last fall.

The Coast Guard formally transferred the two patrol boats – the former cutters Long Island and Roanoke Island – to Costa Rica through the Excess Defense Articles (EDA) Program in October 2017.

The ships have since been outfitted with new radar, communications equipment and paint; they are currently stationed at the Coast Guard Yard for maintenance. US Coast Guard crews are working with their Costa Rican counterparts on training and familiarization on the ships.

The two former cutters will be commissioned as Costa Rica Coast Guard Libertador-class vessels Juan Rafael Mora Porras and Gen. Jose M. Canas Escamilla in the country’s port of Caldera this April.

Adm. Charles D. Michel, Coast Guard vice commandant, underscored the importance of the ships during their decades of service in the U.S. Coast Guard and of the work that they will continue to carry out as assets of the Costa Rica Coast Guard. “These two vessels being transferred served proudly in one of our nation’s harshest environments: in the waters off Alaska,” he said. “The crews aboard these great workhorses halted poachers, secured our waters and saved lives. Now Costa Rica will breathe new life into these highly capable platforms, and their new crews will do the same in the pristine and warmer waters off the coast of their new home in Caldera.”

The Coast Guard has also transferred two 110-foot patrol boats to the Georgian coast guard and two to the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency. The multimission 110-foot Island-class patrol boats entered service in the mid-1980s and are being replaced with 58 154-foot fast response cutters, 25 of which are in service.