Miami Coast Guard commissions newest patrol boat Saturday

MIAMI – The Coast Guard will accept its newest cutter into service, the 87-foot coastal patrol boat Diamondback, during a commissioning ceremony at Coast Guard Integrated Support Command in Miami, Saturday at 2 p.m.

Rear Adm. Steve Branham, commander of the Coast Guard’s Seventh District, will preside over the time-honored naval tradition, which marks the formal establishment of the new cutter. Sen. Mel Martinez will attend the commissioning and serve as the key note speaker during the ceremony. Kitty Martinez, Sen. Martinez’s wife, is the ships “sponsor”.

“Kitty and I are honored to take part in the commissioning of the Diamondback, a powerful addition to the Seventh District’s fleet,” Martinez said. “As a state that has a more active Coast Guard that any other state in the nation, I know Floridians truly value the Guard and the missions they perform every day. Our state and our nation are grateful for the sacrifices the men and women of the Coast Guard make to keep our homeland safe and secure.”

Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Alan Grosse, a Miami native, will become the first commanding officer of the Diamondback. The cutter will be responsible for conducting search and rescue, law enforcement, maritime safety, and homeland defense operations along more than 165 miles of South Florida’s coastline.

In 2008, Coast Guard patrol boats working in Miami assisted in more than 937 search and rescue cases, saved 192 lives, and assisted with more than 2,900 law enforcement cases.

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