The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Coast Guard will participate in a keel laying ceremony for the first Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter on Friday, April 9, at 11 a.m. at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, La.
The 154-foot Sentinel-class patrol boat, which will be a key component of the Coast Guardâ€™s recapitalized fleet, is critically needed to replace the aging 110-foot Island-class patrol boat fleet.
The first Sentinel-class patrol boat is named the Bernard C. Webber after a coxswain from Station Chatham, Mass., who heroically led his three-man crew in saving the lives of 32 crewmen from the sinking freighter Pendleton. All of the Sentinel-class patrol boats will be named after enlisted heroes to honor our past Guardians who stood the watch. The Bernard C. Webber, which will be home ported in Miami, is expected to be delivered in spring 2011.
The Coast Guard awarded Bollinger an $88 million for the first Sentinel-class patrol boat in September 2008. The Sentinel-class project leverages expertise from the Coast Guardâ€™s highly successful 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat built by Bollinger. More information on the Sentinel-class project can be found online at http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/sentinel/default.asp.
WHO: U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen; Assistant Commandant for Acquisition Rear Adm. Ronald J. Rábago; Bollinger Shipyards Inc. CEO and Chairman of the Board Donald â€œBoysieâ€ Bollinger; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and David Vitter (R-La.); U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.)
WHAT: Keel Laying Ceremony for the first Sentinel-class patrol boat, the Bernard C. Webber
WHEN: Friday, April 9, 2010, at 11 a.m. A 10:30 a.m. arrival is recommended.
WHERE: Bollinger Shipyards, 8365 Hwy. 308 South, Lockport, La.