Last 41 foot utility boat retired from duty

Today, the last Coast Guard 41 foot utility boat, 41410, was retired in a ceremony that took place in Grand Haven, Michigan. This boat has been one of the Coast Guard’s most successful boat platforms, saving tens of thousands of lives over the boat’s 41 year service history. Below, we highlight the history of this asset through the eyes of a father and daughter that each spent time serving on the Coast Guard 41 foot boats.

Retired Chief Warrant Officer Jeffrey Carie speaks about his experiences aboard the Coast Guard 41 foot utility boats at the retirement ceremony for 41410. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty officer Alan Haraf.

Retired Chief Warrant Officer Jeffrey Carie speaks about his experiences aboard the Coast Guard 41 foot utility boats at the retirement ceremony for 41410. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty officer Alan Haraf.

In 1978, a young, 13-year-old boy named Jeffrey Carie had his first encounter with a Coast Guard 41-footer.

Hours earlier, Jeffrey Carie, his older brother and their father had taken a new boat out to enjoy a day on the water. Prior to leaving, the father checked the fuel gauge and ensured there were three life jackets onboard – just in case. Soon after departing the dock, the weather took a turn for the worse – rain, wind and darkness fell upon the family as night neared.

Several miles off shore on Lake St. Clair, the father was battling the weather to return safely to the dock, when he had a shocking realization: the boat was out of gas. As waves started coming up over the side of their boat, the father and older brother began to paddle the boat towards shore using two makeshift paddles. Carie steered the boat, and remembering his prior training as a Cub Scout, used the navigation lights to flash SOS, hoping someone from shore could see them.

After what felt like an eternity, the family saw a flashing blue light and flood lights coming towards them. It was a 41 foot boat from nearby Coast Guard Station St. Clair Shores, who gave them some fuel and escorted the family back to the marina.

Four years later, Jeffrey Carie had his next encounter with the Coast Guard’s 41 foot boat – but under much different circumstances.

Jeffrey Carie had enlisted in the Coast Guard reserve, and as a young fireman working at Station St. Clair Shores, he became intimately familiar with every inch of the vessel.

After transitioning to active duty, Jeffrey Carie continued his relationship with the 41-footer throughout his career on the Great Lakes.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Alan Haraf.

While assigned to Station Milwaukee, Jeffrey Carie noticed one 41-footer that had been pulled from the water – it was 41410.

“41410 was sitting high and dry in the buoy yard and out of service,” Jeffrey Carie remembers. “She had been cannibalized for parts in order to keep other 41’s in the group going.”

Through Jeffrey Carie’s leadership and supervision, the 41410 was fully repaired and returned to the water, where it participated in countless search and rescues cases and various other operations.From remaining on scene in Chicago when a collapsed tunnel caused parts of the downtown area to flood, to rescuing four people when a plane crashed in Milwaukee harbor, the Coast Guard 41410 was there to do it all.

Later in his career, Jeffrey Carie was able to share his relationship with the 41-footers with his daughter, Kyleigh Carie, as part of a “bring your daughter to work” day at his unit.

In 2009, Kyleigh Carie joined the Coast Guard as well and, quite fittingly, was assigned to Station Milwaukee where she earned her qualifications on the boat her father had returned to service years earlier – 41410.

One night, Jeffrey Carie received a call from his daughter, who had found all his previous entries in the boat records.

“It made me proud to know I was working on the same boat my father had,” said Kyleigh Carie.

“Clearly, the 41-footer has a proven track record and has earned it’s place in Coast Guard history,” said Jeffrey Carie. “41410 has kept two generations of my family safe, and it has truly been an honor to have served aboard her.”

Tags: , , , ,


  • James Kalweit

    Great story. Thank you for sharing.

  • Victor Nazarian

    It was one of my proudest moments to be an certified for boat crew duty by Senior Chief Sparks at CG Station Annapolis on 41453. That might not sound like much to some but as a 40-something Auxiliary, I was (and am) proud. All the more proud also when I piloted the boat down to St. Inigoes where I still serve. Sadly, 41453 went down the ‘road’ earlier this year and I hear she’s down at the Panama Canal. I love the RB-M (a real beast!) but will miss 41453 always.

  • Jim

    Heart warming to hear stories like this.
    Retired USCG

  • thwilkins

    After OpSail 2000 in New York the Coast Guard was decommissioning a number of 41-footers that had been brought in to supplement Activities New York. I was able to get one transferred to the United States Park Police Marine Unit in New York and that boat responded to assist with the evacuation of lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001. It is still in service patrolling Jamaica Bay and the Statue of Liberty.

  • Bob Sandberg

    on of my proudest moments in the USCG (R) was when I got qualified as coxswain on the 41′ UTB and completed my first SAR case as coxswain.

  • Ron Berry

    I was at Group Milwaukee in the mid 80′s. That was good duty.

  • Lawrence Dechant

    was stationed at pier 91 late 72-73 did S&R out of ShilShole Bay Marina. Loved it!!

  • Domenic R

    Delivered 41394 and 41395 to Base Gloucester. I have to admit for dealing with the Delaware River, above the twin bridges, the 40′s were the work horses back then.

  • b md

    Back in the winter 1982 I was a ET3 at Group Baltimore. Got a CASREP from the OOD to report to Sta. Stillpond with the duty EM. We get there and there is CG41359 covered from stern to bow in 3 inches of ice after a SAR mission. Me and the EM remove the mast and all the electronics. 2-3 days later its at Sta. Curtis Bay drying out. The picture of a 41′ iced over is unbelievable. They take a licking and keep on ticking!

  • Darrell Parks

    I sailed on the old 40 boats that preceded the 41. Even worked on a 30 boat as an EM when it needed an voltage regulator.

  • Lawrence Dechant

    Thanks to all of you for your service!

  • John King

    I had the pleasure of running two different 41′s. The 318 and 415. Both in Clearwater Fl. Always brought us and those we were out to help home safe.

  • Pete Brown

    I some time at Station Two Rivers, WI on 41442. We kept it running back in the early 80′s. Sad to see them go but heard the 45′s are a vast improvement.

  • cmcfarland

    I’ll never forget the looks of gratitude and the hundreds of thank you’s we received from people we rescued with the 41 utility boat. It was a privilege to work off its decks and to perform Search and Rescue; a thank you needs to go out to those who designed, built, managed 41 utility boats, our leaders, and to the men and women working SAR today. Thanks. Thanks for building them, fighting for funding for the mission, for all of it. And, to all the citizens who wanted to give us money, tips, gifts, (particularly the people who taped cash to our 41 hull when we refused it), let me tell you your smiles and expressions of relief were and are reward enough. I think of you often, I’m glad we could help.

  • Fred Lakin

    I was the ET when we brought the 41346 to Grand Isle and I just read that it now resides at the gate of the CG yard where we picked her up at glad to see she will be around for people to see. It was a fun trip best time I had in the Guard.

  • Chris Peper

    Saw a 41 footer off old Spanish fort in Puerto Rico early eighties, Took pictures from the Vigorous fantail of Poindexter and Quimby playing with a fid, 41 footer was direct astern on 110 film