PHILADELPHIA – The Coast Guard will hold a commissioning ceremony for the Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson, the second 154-foot Fast Response Cutter to be homeported in Cape May, New Jersey, at 10 a.m., March 18, 2017.
The commissioning of a ship is an age-old tradition where the vessel is assigned to active service and the crew ceremoniously reports aboard to accept their positions that will be passed on like a torch until the ship’s life comes to an end in the service and it is decommissioned.
The 154-foot sentinel class patrol boat is the second to be homeported in the Mid-Atlantic, and will perform missions such as law enforcement, search and rescue, port security, fishery patrols, drug and illegal migrant enforcement.
The Lawrence Lawson, the 20th Fast Response Cutter, is named after U.S. Lifesaving Service Station Keeper Lawrence O. Lawson. Lawson and crew gained notoriety for rescuing the 18-person crew of a foundering steamship named the Calumet, on Lake Michigan, Nov. 28, 1889. The crew traveled 15 miles by train, horseback and foot attempting to fire a lifeline to the crew, but conditions proved too severe. Ultimately, Lawson and his crew rowed their surfboat to the Calumet, completing three trips in icy, gale winds to save the crew. Lawson was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal on Oct. 17, 1890.