Coast Guard Cutters Diligence, Cushing open for public tours for NC Azalea Festival

5th Coast Guard District NewsWILMINGTON, N.C. — Coast Guard Cutters Diligence and Cushing are open for public tours for the 68th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival this weekend at the Cape Fear Riverside in downtown Wilmington.

Interactive exhibits aboard will allow visitors to understand life aboard a Coast Guard cutter. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience traditional methods of navigation, deck seamanship, engineering, cooking, living quarters, law enforcement and shipboard casualty response.

The Diligence crew and their families will be part of the Azalea Festival parade scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Wilmington.

Tour times are:

Cutter Diligence
Friday: noon to 5 p.m.
Saturday: noon to 5 p.m.
Sunday: noon to 5 p.m.

Cutter Cushing
Friday: 3 to 5 p.m.
Saturday: noon to 5 p.m.

Cutter Diligence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Wilmington with a crew of approximately 80. Diligence’s primary missions consist of counter drug and migrant interdiction, enforcing federal fishery laws, and search and rescue operations.

Medium endurance cutters like the Diligence are built for multi-week offshore patrols including operations requiring enhanced communications, and helicopter and pursuit boat operations, which provide a key capability for homeland security operations at sea.

Cutter Cushing is a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.

The Cushing and the other 31 Island Class patrol boats are being replaced by 58 new, Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters. The FRC will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet. Armed with a 25-mm chain gun and four .50 caliber machine guns, the FRC provides lethal homeland security firepower. The speed, stability and firepower of the FRC deliver tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.

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