Coast Guard gets new cutter
A new, 87-foot Coast Guard cutter was commissioned yesterday in a ceremony at the Coast Guard's Integrated Support Command on Sand Island.
The coastal patrol boat, which will be used for law enforcement, search and rescue, and homeland security missions, had survived hurricanes Katrina and Rita "without a scratch" before it reached Hawaiian waters, said Boatswain's Mate Senior Chief John Petrie, who will serve his fifth command aboard the new cutter.
U.S. Sens. Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye were among dignitaries on hand to welcome the cutter, the Ahi, into active duty.
Recently promoted Vice Admiral Charles Wurster, commander of the 14th Coast Guard District, commissioned the ship.
Akaka, who was the keynote speaker, welcomed the Ahi and its 10-member crew, and praised the Coast Guard's presence as a guardian of the Pacific.
"District 14 has become an integral part of the community," said Akaka, a senior member of the Senate's Homeland Security Committee. "I appreciate the Coast Guard's commitment to the safety and health of the people of Hawai'i."
The senator's wife, Mildred "Millie" Akaka, who has been selected the new ship's sponsor, presented the captain and crew with a framed picture of an 'ahi.