Coast Guard to commission brand new St. Petersburg cutter

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard is scheduled to commission the new Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile, an 87-foot coastal patrol boat, in a ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla.

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, and serve as the keynote speaker. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson will attend the commissioning along with his wife Grace. Mrs. Nelson is the ship’s “sponsor” and will speak during the ceremony. Congressman C. W. Bill Young will also be in attendance.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Stephen Smith will take command of the 11-member crew and they will conduct search-and-rescue, law-enforcement and Homeland Security missions along the west coast of Florida.

Crocodile is the 69th Marine Protector Class patrol boat constructed by Bollinger Ship Yards of Lockport, La.

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