Coast Guard Station Los Angeles-Long Beach Receives A New Boat

Coast Guard Station Los Angeles-Long Beach 45-foot response boat

USCG photo

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – Coast Guard Station Los Angeles-Long Beach has the immense responsibility of ensuring the safety and security of one of the busiest port complexes in the world. The station crew employs various tools to get the job done, and on December 9, a new tool arrived at the station’s docks.

The new 45-foot response boat is a sleek, fast, multi-mission vessel designed to replace the aging 41-foot utility boats that are currently in service here.

“The 41-foot utility boat has served us well since the ‘70s,” explains Senior Chief Petty Officer Richard Cheyney, officer-in-charge of Station LA-LB. “Just like us, as we age we need more attention, more maintenance, and that has been our biggest challenge; keeping up with maintaining a 30-year-old boat.”

The new response boat offers a number of advantages to the station crew, who is charged with many important duties including search-and-rescue, maritime law enforcement and port security.

“(It has) seats for the entire crew, a climate-controlled cabin, integrated navigation systems, infrared capabilities and internal communications,” says Cheyney. “All these systems will improve crew endurance, but most importantly, crew safety.”

On an average search and rescue case, the new boat will respond further and faster. The shock-mitigating seats will keep the crew from stumbling and sustaining possible injury during inclement weather. The forward-looking infrared system will aid crews in locating people in the water. The climate-controlled cabin will provide a safer, healthier environment for the rescued or injured while being transported.

Crewmembers will undergo specialized training to become qualified to pilot the new addition. While much of the radar and chart-plotting equipment remains the same as that of the current boats, the 45-foot boat will present its own unique learning opportunities.

“It’s a jet-drive boat,” explains Cheyney. “It’s going to handle completely different. There is no helm, there is no throttle. Everything is on the armrests.”

Cheyney has faith in his crew and plans to have everyone qualified to operate the new boat by March, when two more 45-foot response boats are scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles.

The new boat is an attractive and impressive addition to the Coast Guard fleet in Los Angeles, but for Cheyney and the station crew, it all comes back to ensuring the safety and security of the crew and the public which they serve.

“Everyone needs to understand how dangerous the water can be,” says Cheyney, “and everyone needs to be prepared for emergencies with a radio, fire extinguisher, life jackets and flares.”

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.