Coast Guard commissions new cutter at Cape May ceremony

     U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn.

    U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nate Littlejohn.

    The United States Coast Guard commissioned a new cutter at a ceremony in Cape May on Saturday. 

    The Lawrence Lawson, the 20th Fast Response Cutter in the Coast Guard’s fleet, will dock in Cape May, from where it will perform law enforcement, search and rescue, and infrastructure protection missions from New Jersey to North Carolina, according to a military release. 

    The vessel is named in honor of Lawrence Lawson, the keeper of the Evanston, Illinois lifeboat station that led the rescue of 18 crewmembers from a distressed steam vessel in 1889. 

    The commissioning ceremony was held at the Coast Guard’s Training Center Cape May, where an official praised the local community. 

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    “Since our very beginning, wherever the Coast Guard finds itself, we always form a special bond with the community we serve,” said Coast Guard Vice Commandant Adm. Charles Michel. “Communities like Cape May shower our Coast Guard men and women with amazing support.”

    The Sentinel-class cutter is 154 feet long with a beam height of 25 feet and a maximum sustained speed in excess of 28 knots, according to the agency.

    The vessel, which has a range of nearly 3,000 nautical miles and can carry up to 24 crewmembers, is armed with a stabilized chain gun and four .50-caliber machine guns.

    It’s the second Fast Response Cutter docked in Cape May. Replacing the aging Island-class 110-foot patrol boats, the Coast Guard expects to commission 58 of the new vessels. 

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