Coast Guard to commission newest patrol boat in St. Petersburg on Monday

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard is scheduled to commission the new Coast Guard Cutter Alligator, an 87-foot coastal patrol boat, during a ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg.

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.

Congressman John L. Mica will attend the commissioning along with his wife Pat. Mrs. Mica, the ship’s sponsor, will speak during the ceremony.

“The commissioning of Coast Guard Cutter Alligator represents a success story for the Coast Guard,” said Congressman Mica. “The cutter will help the Coast Guard meet its operational commitments while it builds a new class of patrol boats.”

Lt. j.g. Andrew Vicks, a Lynchburg, Va., native, will take command of the 11-member crew and conduct search-and-rescue, law-enforcement and Homeland Security missions along the west coast of Florida.

The Alligator will join the cutters Nantucket, Ocracoke and Crocodile as St. Petersburg’s patrol-boat fleet.

“The Alligator will be a welcome asset for Sector St. Petersburg, one of the Coast Guard’s busiest and most active commands.” Congressman Mica said. “The often tough and difficult demands of modern Coast Guard missions require highly capable multi-mission platforms, and the Cutter Alligator is exactly that.”

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