LOCKPORT, La. (AP) — Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport delivered its fifth patrol ship to the U.S. Coast Guard in Key West, Florida last week, almost a week ahead of schedule despite a three week shutdown after Hurricane Ida.
The Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutter is designed for the Coast Guard's operations in Bahrain to support U.S. operations in southwest Asia and the Middle East. According to company officials, Category 4 Ida hit Port Fourchon, damaging Bollinger's facilities and its Lockport shipyard, causing the shutdown.
This ship, named The John Scheuerman, is the fifth of six cutters sent to replace the Coast Guard's old fleet of patrol boats which are 30 years old. Each ship costs about $65 million, and the entire program will cost the Coast Guard more than $3.7 billion, according to The Houma Courier.
“While every delivery is meaningful, being able to deliver this vessel nearly a week early despite everything our crew has faced over the past month is nothing short of remarkable,” Bollinger President and CEO Ben Bordelon said in a news release. “This vessel and this delivery is a win our folks really needed and it reflects the resilience, commitment and tenacity of the 650 skilled men and women that built it.”
Bollinger reopened all of its 11 sites across Louisiana on Sept. 24 following an extensive recovery and rebuilding effort, Bordelon said in the release.
The John Scheuerman left Port Fourchon on Oct. 11 and was delivered to the Coast Guard six days later. The cutters have been used for coastal security, fishery patrols, search and rescue, border patrol, and national defense. The 154-foot (47-meter) ships carry a crew of 24, are armed with four .50-caliber machine guns, and can travel at up to 28 knots, or 32 mph (51 kph).
Each Fast Response Cutter is named for an enlisted Coast Guardsman who distinguished himself or herself in the line of duty. John Scheuerman was a seaman first class in the Coast Guard Reserve during World War II and was posthumously presented with the Silver Star and Purple Heart medals for his actions in the amphibious invasion of Italy in 1943.