The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(WASHINGTON) — The Coast Guard’s first National Security Cutter, Bertholf, is scheduled to make a port call at Broadway Pier, Fell’s Point, Md. Friday.
Public tours are being offered Saturday from 1 – 4 p.m. (closed noon to 1 p.m. for lunch) and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for lunch).
The Bertholf is the lead ship in the new Legend class of cutters designed to be the flagship of the modern Coast Guard fleet. The Bertholf will improve operational readiness and enable the Coast Guard to fulfill its multi-mission roles more effectively through better sea keeping, higher sustained transit speeds, greater endurance and range, and a greater ability to launch and recover improved small boats, helicopters, and eventually unmanned aerial vehicles – all key attributes in enabling the Coast Guard to implement increased security responsibilities.
The cutter is named after the Coast Guard’s first commandant, Commodore Ellsworth Price Bertholf. Bertholf was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal after he led a trip via dogsled more than 1,600 miles in order to transport food to whalers trapped at Point Barrow, Alaska, in October 1897. Bertholf also oversaw the successful merge of the Revenue Cutter Service with the U.S. Life Saving Service into the Coast Guard.
A traditional champagne christening by the ship’s sponsor, Meryl Chertoff, wife of Hon. Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, took place in Pascagoula, Miss., Nov. 11, 2006. A formal commissioning ceremony is scheduled to take place in Bertholf’s homeport of Alameda, Calif., Aug. 4.
Bertholf visitors are advised that any bags brought aboard are subject to search by security personnel. Unfortunately, due to the design of the ship, Bertholf is not wheel-chair accessible. Mariners are required to keep a 100-yard distance from Bertholf at all times.