Sea Sheperds pick up a couple 110s
The Island-class patrol boats of the U.S. Coast Guard have put in yeoman’s service since the 1980s. These hardy 110-footers, armed originally with a 20mm Mk. 16 forward and pair of 12.7mm guns port and starboard amidships, have fought the war of a thousand drug smugglers in the Caribbean, deployed constantly to the Persian Gulf, sank radioactive Japanese ghost trawlers, and saved countless lives that would have otherwise been lost to the sea.
Over time they were updated with better radars, overhauled engines and a 25mm Mk.38, but they are showing their age.
They are now being replaced by the 154-foot, $88 million Sentinel class Fast Responce Cutters after some 30 years of hard service.
And the Sea Shepherd group of maritime
thugs conservationists have picked up a couple of them:
The former USCGC Block Island (WPB-1344) and the USCGC Pea Island (WPB-1347), now renamed the MY Jules Verne and the MY Farley Mowat, were purchased in Baltimore earlier this year and are now berthed in Key West, Florida.
“These two ships, the Farley Mowat and the Jules Verne, give Sea Shepherd USA a combination of speed and long-range capabilities,” said Sea Shepherd Founder Captain Paul Watson. “We have already offered the Jules Verne to assist the rangers at Cocos Island National Park Marine Reserve with anti-poaching interventions, 300 miles off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and the Farley Mowat has been offered to patrol the Sea of Cortez in partnership with the government of Mexico to protect the endangered vaquita.”
Its not the first time that the group, seen often on Animal Planet/Discover Network’s “Whale Wars” have bought old Coasties. They picked up a 95-foot Cape class patrol boat from the Coast Guard in the 1990s and their ship MY Steve Irwin was the 195-foot Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency conservation enforcement patrol boat, the FPV Westra, for 28 years.
The 110s will be getting a new paint job as part of “Neptune’s Navy”, which actually looks kinda cool, but you can bet there are some USCG Chiefs out there whose eyes are going to twitch when they see it…