USCGC Bernard C. Webber (WPC-1101)

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The first Fast Response Cutter, Bernard C. Webber, gets underway -a.jpg
Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber underway
History
United States
Name: USCGC Bernard C. Webber
Namesake: Bernard C. Webber
Operator: United States Coast Guard
Builder: Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, Louisiana
Launched: April 21, 2011
Acquired: February 10, 2012[1]
Commissioned: April 14, 2012[2]
Homeport: Port of Miami, Florida
Identification:
Motto: Determination heeds no interference[3]
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Sentinel-class cutter
Displacement: 353 long tons (359 t)
Length: 46.8 m (154 ft)
Beam: 8.11 m (26.6 ft)
Depth: 2.9 m (9.5 ft)
Propulsion:
  • 2 × 4,300 kW (5,800 shp)
  • 1 × 75 kW (101 shp) bow thruster
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Range: 2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km; 2,900 mi)
Endurance: 5 days
Boats & landing
craft carried:
1 × Short Range Prosecutor RHIB
Complement: 2 officers, 20 crew
Sensors and
processing systems:
L-3 C4ISR suite
Armament:

USCGC Bernard C. Webber (WPC-1101) is the first of the United States Coast Guard's 58 Sentinel-class cutters.[4] Like most of her sister ships, she replaced a 110-foot (34 m) Island-class patrol boat. Bernard C. Webber, and the next five vessels in the class, Richard Etheridge, William Flores, Robert Yered, Margaret Norvell, and Paul Clark, are all based in Miami, Florida.[5]

First of class[edit]

On September 26, 2008, Bollinger Shipyards in Louisiana, was awarded US$88 million to build the prototype first vessel in its class.[6] The Sentinel-class design is from the Netherlands-based Damen Group, and is based on that company's Damen Stan 4708 patrol vessel. The first vessel Bollinger built became Bernard C. Webber, which is the first of 58 planned Sentinel-class cutters to be put into the U.S. Coast Guard fleet to replace their old 110 ft patrol boats (and their unseaworthy 123 ft cutters), starting with the first six based in Miami, then six in Key West, then six in Puerto Rico.[7]

On July 24, 2014, it was announced that the, U.S. Coast Guard had exercised a $225 million option at Bollinger Shipyards in Louisiana for construction through 2017 of an additional six Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters (FRC), bringing the total number of FRCs under contract with Bollinger to 30. On May 4, 2016, Bollinger Shipyards announced that the U.S. Coast Guard awarded it a new contract for building the final 26 Sentinel-class fast-response cutters. That brings to 58 the total number of FRCs that the USCG ordered from Bollinger.[8] Acquiring the 58 cutters is expected to cost the federal government $3.8 billion — an average of about $65 million per cutter.

Operational history[edit]

Bernard C. Webber was launched in April 2011.[7] [9] She commenced her sea trials on November 27, 2011. She arrived in her homeport of Miami, Florida, on February 6, 2012.[7] [10] She was commissioned on April 14, 2012, at the Port of Miami, Miami, Florida.

For a week in August 2015 Bernard C. Webber was tasked to host some VIPs, and demonstrate to them the ability of the Coast Guard to protect the United States' borders.[11]

In November 2015 the cutter cooperated with the Netherlands offshore patrol vessel HNLMS Friesland in the interception of a large quantity of illicit drugs, off the coast of the Dominican Republic.[12][13][14]

On April 10, 2016, Bernard C. Webber rescued ten individuals from a vessel that capsized off Freetown, Bahamas.[15] The ten individuals were adrift for about six hours, but none of them were injured. Since they were assessed to be migrants, trying to make their way to United States, they were transferred to the custody of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

Namesake[edit]

Like the other ships of her class Bernard C. Webber is named after a heroic enlisted member of the Coast Guard.[4][16] Bernard C. Webber was coxswain of the 36-foot (11 m) wooden Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat CG 36500 that ventured out in 60-foot (18 m) seas to rescue men from the stricken T2 tanker SS Pendleton that had broken in two during a Winter storm off Chatham, Massachusetts on February 18, 1952.[17] The rescue of the survivors of the shipwrecked Pendleton is considered one of the most daring rescues of the United States Coast Guard.[18]

The story of the Pendleton rescue has been made into a motion picture entitled The Finest Hours.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lead Fast Response Cutter Delivered to the Coast Guard" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  2. ^ "Coast Guard commissions 1st Fast Response Cutter at Port of Miami". Coast Guard News. 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  3. ^ Erik Ackerson (2012-10-26). "Fast Response Cutter Visits St. Thomas". St John: St John Source. Archived from the original on 2013-02-08. Ship Commander Herb Eggert said, “We can expect the occasional visit by the new FRC’s out of San Juan and Miami as assignments in this area are intelligence driven.” 
  4. ^ a b Stephanie Young (2010-10-17). "Coast Guard heroes: Bernard C. Webber". United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  5. ^ "Acquisition Update: Second Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter Contract Option Awarded". United States Coast Guard. 2010-09-15. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  6. ^ "Acquisition Directorate: Newsroom". United States Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 2009-10-08. 
  7. ^ a b c "New Coast Guard cutter steams into Miami". Miami Herald. 2012-02-09. Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2012-04-27. The U.S. Coast Guard is bringing its new $88 million 154-foot patrol boat to Miami, the first of 58 to be put into the fleet replacing the old patrol boats starting with six in Miami then six in Key West. 
  8. ^ "Bollinger Shipyards Gets Contract for Remaining 26 Coast Guard Cutters". Military.com. May 5, 2016. Retrieved July 23, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Bollinger Built Fast Response Cutter Undergoes Sea Trials". Maritime Executive. 2011-12-06. Retrieved 2011-12-13. The vessel, now known as BERNARD C. WEBBER, was launched on April 21 and first got underway on November 27th to begin builder’s trials. The builder’s trials will include pier side and underway machinery and equipment tests including propulsion, command control and navigation. After successful builder’s trials WEBBER will prepare for acceptance trails by the Coast Guard, prior to its January 2012 delivery.  mirror
  10. ^ Rhonda Carpenter (2012-11-05). "Coast Guard Commissions Third Fast Response Cutter, William Flores". Defense Media Network. Archived from the original on 2013-01-04. The first six FRCs for District 7 will be homeported in Miami; the next six in Key West; and the remaining six in Puerto Rico. 
  11. ^ Cheryl Pellerin (2015-08-26). "DoD 101: Drugs, Thugs and the Coast Guard". Miami Beach: DoD News, Defense Media. Retrieved 2016-04-11. On the Webber, Gould and Mike Cortese, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Miami Beach, show the SLEP group what the Coast Guard does if it catches a target of interest making an illicit run from Bimini to the United States carrying migrants, drugs, money or guns. 
  12. ^ "U.S. Coast Guard Seizes 515 Kilos of Cocaine In ‘Operation Caribbean Venture’". Space Coast Daily. 2015-11-22. Archived from the original on 2015-11-23. The four suspected smugglers were transferred to U.S. authorities for prosecution. The Friesland transferred the suspects and contraband to the Coast Guard Cutter Bernard C. Webber who was returning home from a successful counterdrug patrol off of Puerto Rico in support of Operation Unified Resolve. 
  13. ^ Alfonso Chardy (2015-12-20). "Details of cocaine bust near Dominican coast revealed". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2015-12-21. In this case, the interdiction operation involved the Coast Guard and the HNLMS Friesland, an offshore patrol vessel from the Royal Netherlands Navy. 
  14. ^ Mark Barney (2015-11-20). "Cutter Bernard C. Webber crew offloads $17M in seized cocaine in Miami". Miami Beach: Dvidshub. Retrieved 2016-04-11. A Coast Guardsman offloads cocaine at Coast Guard Sector Miami Beach, Florida, Nov. 20, 2015. 
  15. ^ Susan Salisbury (2016-04-10). "U.S. Coast Guard rescues 10 people from a sinking boat off Freeport". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 2016-04-11. The 10 survivors are believed to be migrants trying to get the United States from the Bahamas. 
  16. ^ Stephanie Young (2010-10-27). "Coast Guard Heroes". United States Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 2013-01-03. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  17. ^ Webster, Captain W. Russell. "The Pendleton Rescue". United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "Pendleton Rescue". United States Coast Guard. Retrieved September 30, 2014.