Coast Guard cutter Kukui returns to home port after five-month maintenance period

HONOLULU — The day after Thanksgiving, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kukui, home ported here in Honolulu, returned home after spending five months in San Francisco for a major maintenance overhaul.

The Kukui's crew was met at the pier late Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, by family members and fellow Guardians.

In June, the crew departed Honolulu on a 2,200-mile trip to San Francisco, beginning a 169-day effort to complete vital maintenance to the cutter and preserve its readiness to patrol the Pacific. The Kukui is one of three buoy tenders assigned to 14th District waters.

This maintenance involved more than 130 contracted work items as well as 30 projects completed by the ship’s crew. During the arduous period, the crew lived aboard the ship, frequently worked long shifts, provided "24/7 oversight" of contracted work, and completed numerous ship’s force projects.

While in San Francisco, Kukui's crewmembers integrated themselves with the local community. They participated in three major community service events while in maintenance, such as clean-ups of local beaches, volunteer work at the San Francisco Zoo, and service at the San Francisco Food Bank. Additionally, crewmembers participated in more than a dozen local activities to include half-marathons and other local sporting events. These activities provided a valuable outlet away from the daily grind of the dry-dock for the crew.

The Coast Guard wasted no time in returning the crew and the cutter back to operational status. On the first day of the journey home, while passing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, the crew of Kukui received a distress call from a disabled vessel in danger of grounding on rocks in heavy seas.

Crewmembers located the vessel, prepared a small boat for launch, and was able to direct a nearby Coast Guard rescue boat to the distressed vessel in time to tow it to safety.

Kukui is a 225-foot buoy tender, with a crew of 49, based at Sand Island. The crew of Kukui patrols the Hawaiian Islands, Central and Western Pacific, protecting U.S. interests by maintaining maritime aids to navigation, conducting maritime law enforcement, homeland security, marine environmental protection, and search and rescue operations.

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  1. Dave Shirlaw says:

    Nice to see the crew arrived and departed Honolulu. Did the ship go too?

  2. cgnews says:


    During the arduous period, the crew lived aboard the ship

    I have to assume they took the ship with them. I see your point though.