Coast Guard Sector San Juan adds a new cutter to its fleet

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Coast Guard Sector San Juan, Puerto Rico, will accept a new 87-foot coastal patrol boat, Reef Shark, during a commissioning ceremony at Sector San Juan, this morning.

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. Donna M. Christensen, U.S. Virgin Islands delegate to Congress, is the ships “sponsor” and will serve as the keynote speaker.

“It is truly a privilege to have been asked to sponsor and to keynote the commissioning ceremony of the Cutter Reef Shark,” said Christensen. “I consider this to be a high honor for the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands and to participate in this time-honored naval tradition.”

Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Rachel S. Cruzcosa, a San Angelo, Texas native, will become the first commanding officer of the Reef Shark. Cruzcosa, a 2006 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn., will take the helm as one of only four female commanding officers in the 87-foot patrol boat fleet.

“It is my honor to take command of Coast Guard Cutter Reef Shark today,” said Lt. j.g. Rachel S. Cruzcosa, commanding officer Coast Guard Cutter Reef Shark. “My crew has worked extremely hard to prepare the Reef Shark for her commissioning and from this day forth we are ready to conduct all operations in the Caribbean.”

The Reef Shark is the final coastal patrol boat to be commissioned to the Coast Guard and will be responsible for conducting search and rescue, law enforcement, maritime safety, and homeland defense operations throughout the Caribbean Sea.

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