>CGC ACUSHNET Small Boat Operations

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Small Boat Operations

Launching the cutter’s small boats is one of the evolutions the crew does quite regularly. Whether it be for conducting at-sea boardings, personnel transfers, or just training missions, it needs to run like a well-oiled machine. It all starts with an announcement to “SET THE BOAT LOWERING DETAIL STARBOARD SIDE.” With that, the crew begins to ready themselves for the upcoming event by donning the appropriate safety equipment and heading to the boat deck. Once the boat lowering detail has dressed out and are all present on the boat deck, positions are assigned. There will be line handlers, boom control, and the Boatswain Mate of the Watch (BMOW) who is called the “yellow hat” and runs the evolution from the boat deck. There are also safety observers called “white hats” who keep an eye on the big picture to ensure everything is done safely. The “white hats” are the senior Boatswain Mates (BM’s) who have many years of experience with this sort of evolution. With all the positions assigned and filled, it’s time to go. The small boat is hoisted, swung out over the side, and lowered to the rail. We call it “putting the boat at the hip.” Once the boat is at the hip, the word comes down from the bridge to load the boat crew and lower the small boat into the water. With the boat crew safely aboard the small boat, they are lowered to the water. The last tie to the cutter, the sea painter, is released and the small boat clears away from the cutter and is off to its mission.

BM2 Kevin Murphy‚®™‚®™

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