Coast Guard Cutter Elm arrives in Astoria for first time

Coast Guard Cutter Elm file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read.

Coast Guard Cutter Elm file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Levi Read.

ASTORIA, Ore. — The Coast Guard Cutter Elm arrived in Astoria, its new homeport, for the first time, Monday.

The Elm, a Juniper Class 225-foot seagoing buoy tender, is operated by the same crew that operated the Coast Guard Cutter Fir, which left Astoria, June 2018 as part of a Coast Guard-wide hull swap.

The Elm is coming out of a midlife, dry-dock, major-overhaul period at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore. The major overhaul began in January 2018.

The Elm, commissioned in 1998, was previously homeported in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, as part of Sector Field Office Macon, North Carolina. It spent the last 20 years maintaining over 250 floating aids to navigation from central New Jersey to the border of North and South Carolina.

The Elm’s primary mission will continue to be servicing aids to navigation, but its new area of responsibility stretches along the Pacific coasts of Oregon and Washington as well as in the Columbia River. Its area extends from the Oregon/California border north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and east in the Columbia River to Longview, Washington.

The aids that its crew will service and maintain are essential to commercial vessel traffic in shipping ports such as Coos Bay, Newport, Astoria, Portland, Longview, and Seattle.

The Elm’s crew will be responsible for 114 floating aids. The buoys, which the crew normally service, range in size from 13-feet tall and 5-feet wide to 35-feet tall and 9-feet wide and weigh up to 18,000 pounds. The Elm has heavy lift capabilities with a crane that can extend to 60 feet and lift up to 40,000 pounds.

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