Tag Archives: whale wars

2-for-1 swap on cutters this month

The Coast Guard held a joint decommissioning ceremony Wednesday for the North Carolina-based “Graveyard Enforcers,” a pair of 110-foot Island-class patrol boats USCGC Cushing (WPB-1321) and USCGC Nantucket (WPB-1316) in Atlantic Beach, NC.

The ceremony honored 30 years of the cutters’ service to the Coast Guard. The 110s were originally designed to last 15-20 years, so they both served well beyond their intended service life.

From CG:


The Cushing was the 21st 110-foot Island Class cutter built by Bollinger shipyard in Lockport, Louisiana, and commissioned on Dec. 1, 1988. Cushing’s first homeport was Mobile, Alabama, followed by San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cushing moved permanently to Atlantic Beach in 2015. Cushing was built primarily as a platform for law enforcement, but conducted missions including maritime homeland security, migrant interdiction, fisheries enforcement and search and rescue.


The Nantucket was the 16th 110-foot Island Class cutter built by Bollinger shipyard in Lockport, Louisiana and commissioned in 1987. Nantucket’s first homeport was Miami, followed by Key West, Florida, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and St. Petersburg, Florida. Nantucket was moved permanently to Atlantic Beach in 2014. Nantucket was built primarily as a platform for law enforcement, but conducted missions including maritime homeland security, migrant interdiction, fisheries enforcement and search and rescue.

“Today is a great day because we’re celebrating not only Cushing and Nantucket but the crews who maintained them throughout the years,” said Lt. Mario Gil, commanding officer of the Cushing.

The cutters will transit to the Coast Guard Yard where they will undergo a final decommissioning process. From there they may be considered for various options such as being placed for sale on GSA Auctions or foreign transfer. This has been an ongoing process with this class that has seen two of the former WPBs put into service with the Sea Shepherd (Whale Wars) group while others have gone to Georgia and Costa Rica.

The same week, Fifth Coast Guard District (Mid-Atlantic) welcomed the 158-foot Sentinel (Webber)-class Fast Response Cutter USCGC Lawrence Lawson (WPC-1120) to the area, set for her official commissioning ceremony in Cape May, N.J., next week.

Former Island-class patrol boat gets a camo makeover and tequila christening

USCGC Block Island (WPB-1344) was sold at auction in 2015 to Sea Shepherd, who used her briefly as MY Jules Verne and now as MY John Paul DeJoria (Photo: Sea Shepherd)

USCGC Block Island (WPB-1344) was sold at auction in 2015 to Sea Shepherd, who used her briefly as MY Jules Verne and now as MY John Paul DeJoria (Photo: Sea Shepherd)

USCGC Block Island (WPB-1344) and the USCGC Pea Island (WPB-1347), two late model 110-foot Island class C-variants, renamed at the time the MY Jules Verne and the MY Farley Mowat, were purchased in Baltimore in 2015 and are used by Sea Shephard, flying a black flag.

Well, it appears the sea going hippies picked up a big donation from John Paul DeJoria, a co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems salon products, and rechristened the former MY Jules Verne in his honor.

According to Sea Shepherd, DeJoria broke a bottle of Patron tequila against the anchor, making M/V John Paul DeJoria the first ship in history to be christened as such.

Their current fleet, click to big up

Their current fleet, click to big up

One of DeJoria’s first missions was to help search for lost marine life documentary filmmaker Rob Stewart off the Florida Keys– reportedly along with USCG vessels to whom she undoubtedly was a strange sight.

Sea Sheperds pick up a couple 110s

sentinel compared to Island class coast guard cutter (distance)wpb uscg patrol boat

154-foot Sentinel compared to 110-foot Island class patrol boat (distance). Click to big up

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.

You can see the 25mm and M2 mounts removed as well as the racing stripes painted over, but the ready boxes are still there...

You can see the 25mm and M2 mounts removed as well as the racing stripes painted over, but the ready boxes are still there…

and the profile is unmistakeable

…and the profile is unmistakeable

“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…

sea shepherd 110