A fresh start in 2015

The Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur is slowly released back into the water after five months in dry dock at Base Ketchikan.

The Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur is slowly released back into the water after five months in dry dock at Base Ketchikan.

Anyone who has sailed Alaskan waters can attest that the Last Frontier is not for the faint of heart. It takes a strong crew and a sturdy ship to brave the wind and waves of the 49th state, and the Coast Guard Cutter Chandeleur is eager for the challenge.

The Island-class patrol boat, homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska, just completed a major 171-day drydock at local Coast Guard facilities. On July 21, the Chandeleur was pulled out of the water for maintenance and repairs, including replacement of hull plating, renewal and overhaul of various ship systems, and cleaning and inspection of tanks.

Through the summer, fall, and into the new year, Base Ketchikan’s industrial team of specialists worked tirelessly to complete the extensive repairs, bringing an extraordinary level of technical competence, expertise, and craftsmanship to bear on the 26 year old cutter.

Refloated

A tug ties off to the Chandeleur as the vessel is refloated at the Base Ketchikan dry dock.

The Chandeleur’s crew assisted the industrial team with various work items, and completed numerous projects of their own, including an overhaul of the pilothouse and the ship’s damage control gear. The crew also worked diligently to maintain proficiency with law enforcement, navigation, and damage control training; earning new qualifications, attending schools, and seeking out temporary duty assignments with other units.

According to Lt. Ian Starr, the Chandeleur’s commanding officer, “the industrial folks in Ketchikan did an amazing job returning our ship to an operational status. Their technical skills are unmatched throughout the Coast Guard, and we are incredibly thankful for their support. The cutter crew did a phenomenal job supporting industrial efforts while also remaining trained, proficient watchstanders and operators.”

Though both teams faced challenges and setbacks along the way, the Chandeleur returned to the water Tuesday morning at sunrise to undergo final repairs and operational tests. The crew is excited to be floating again and itching to get underway and perform their primary missions of Living Marine Resources enforcement and Search & Rescue throughout the challenging waters of Southeast Alaska.

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