Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson Commissioning

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson gathers on the newly commissioned cutter during a commissioning ceremony held at Training Center Cape May, New Jersey, March 18, 2017. The Lawrence Lawson is the second 154-foot Fast Response Cutter to be commissioned in Cape May and will conduct missions from North Carolina to New Jersey. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn)

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson gathers on the newly commissioned cutter during a commissioning ceremony held at Training Center Cape May, New Jersey, March 18, 2017.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn)

CAPE MAY, N.J. – Adm. Charles Michel, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, presided over a ceremony commissioning the 20th Fast Response Cutter, Lawrence Lawson, in Cape May Saturday.

The Lawrence Lawson and crew are homeported in Cape May, where they will perform multiple Coast Guard missions along the Mid-Atlantic coast such as law enforcement, search and rescue and protecting America’s infrastructure from New Jersey to North Carolina.

The cutter is named after Lawrence O. Lawson, who, as keeper of the Evanston, Illinois, Lifeboat Station, led the rescue of 18 crewmembers from the foundering steam vessel Calumet, Nov. 28, 1889. After two failed attempts to fire a rescue line in icy conditions, Lawson launched a surfboat and led his crew, composed of Northwestern University students, on three trips through the breakers to fully evacuate the crew of the ship. For his leadership, Lawson received the Gold Lifesaving Medal on Oct. 17, 1890.

“Since our very beginning, wherever the Coast Guard finds itself, we always form a special bond with the community we serve,” said Michel. “Communities like Cape May shower our Coast Guard men and women with amazing support.”

“I greatly appreciate everyone attending today and making this ceremony so very special,” said Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Rizzo, commanding officer of the Lawrence Lawson. “I know Capt. Lawson is looking down and while I am sure he is humbled by this honor. I know he is so proud that his name and spirit will be continuing to carry out the Coast Guard’s all-important maritime safety and security missions.”

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