Second fast response cutter launched

The U.S. Coast Guard’s second 154-foot fast response cutter, the Richard Etheridge, was launched at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, La., yesterday. This marks a significant milestone in the Coast Guard’s acquisition of the Sentinel-class patrol boats, which will replace the service’s legacy 110-foot patrol boats. You can see the launch play out in the photos below.

While in the water, the vessel will undergo a series of tests and evaluations prior to its planned delivery early next year. The launch is one of many steps in the construction process, leading to sea trials and crew training later this year and, eventually, the commissioning of the vessel and commencement of its Coast Guard operations.

To see photos of the first fast response cutter, Bernard C. Webber, which was launched in April 2011, click here. To learn more about the first 14 heroes the Sentinel-class fast response cutters have been named for, click here, or you can keep up on the latest news on fast response cutters here.

Richard Etheridge is shown exiting the fabrication shop on the way to the pier where the launch will occur. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Richard Etheridge is shown exiting the fabrication shop on the way to the pier where the launch will occur. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Richard Etheridge will be capable of reaching speeds in excess of 28 knots and is designed to independently conduct many missions, including port, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Richard Etheridge will be capable of reaching speeds in excess of 28 knots and is designed to independently conduct many missions, including port, waterways and coastal security; fishery patrols; search and rescue; and national defense. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Richard Etheridge is shown being lowered into the water. The Etheridge is a Sentinel-class patrol boat and is equipped with a stern launch ramp that allows the vessel to deploy its cutter boat in a wide range of sea conditions. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Richard Etheridge is shown being lowered into the water. The Etheridge is a Sentinel-class patrol boat and is equipped with a stern launch ramp that allows the vessel to deploy its cutter boat in a wide range of sea conditions. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Now that the Etheridge was successfully launched, the 24-person crew assigned to the ship will conduct additional testing and evaluation prior to its commissioning in 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Now that the Etheridge was successfully launched, the 24-person crew assigned to the ship will conduct additional testing and evaluation prior to its commissioning in 2012. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Richard Etheridge will be homeported in Miami and will primarily perform missions to save lives, enforce U.S. and international maritime law and ensure security in the Coast Guard’s 7th District off the Southeastern coast of the U.S. and in the Caribbean Sea. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Richard Etheridge will be homeported in Miami and will primarily perform missions to save lives, enforce U.S. and international maritime law and ensure security in the Coast Guard’s 7th District off the Southeastern coast of the U.S. and in the Caribbean Sea. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

With the launch of the Richard Etheridge, the Coast Guard's first two Sentinel-class fast response cutters have been placed in the water. The first fast response cutter, the Bernard C. Webber, is in the foreground. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

With the launch of the Richard Etheridge, the Coast Guard’s first two Sentinel-class fast response cutters have been placed in the water. The first fast response cutter, the Bernard C. Webber, is in the foreground. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

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