The Coast Guard’s newest asset for Southeast is now on station. The cutter Chandeleur stopped for a brief welcoming ceremony at Station Juneau on Friday before the heading back down to its designated port of Ketchikan.
The 110-foot Chandeleur replaces the medium-endurance cutter, the 213-foot Acushnet, that was decommissioned last year. The Acushnet was named Queen of the Fleet, or oldest serving vessel in the Coast Guard fleet, just before going out with 67-years of total service. The Chandeleur was recently stationed in Florida and just went through a nine-month refit.
Senator Lisa Murkowski criticized the proposed reassignment last year and said the vessel will have a hard time getting out to the Gulf of Alaska.
The Chandeleur with its seventeen crew joins the Naushon already stationed in Ketchikan. It’s also of the Island class, like the Anacapa based out of Petersburg and the Liberty in Auke Bay.
Coast Guard Lt. Sam Blase, commanding officer of the Chandeleur, says it’s a pleasure to be up in Southeast Alaska and he says they look forward to working in the area.
Blase says the vessel just emerged from a nine-month re-fit that included stripping everything out from the vessel except the kitchen sink.
“She got a lot of hull work and a lot of metal replacement done on her since she is 20-plus years old,” said Blase. “She also got upgraded electronics packages. We got some updated navigation capabilities and as well as making sure that we had the latest in technology on board for the radios and communication gear.”
You can hear the full interview below: