Coast Guard explores moving 87-foot cutter to Wrightsville Beach station


The  U.S. Coast Guard plans to relocate a larger marine patrol cutter to Station Wrightsville Beach, bringing in a commissioned ship nearly twice the size of any the station currently operates.

The Coast Guard is seeking public input on its plans to relocate the ship to a permanent mooring in Wrightsville Beach. In a report put together by AECOM Technical Services, Inc. for the Coast Guard, the plan wouldn’t require dredging or in-water dock construction, and said that the boat wouldn’t create an environmental impact or a visual eyesore.

The relocation of the 87-foot coastal patrol boat would be the largest cutter stationed in Wrightsville Beach, though the station was the homeport of an 82-foot boat from 1987 through 2000. The station currently hosts two 45-foot and two 29-foot small response boats.

The Coast Guard said the relocation would help fill help improve Coast Guard readiness in the region. The relocation would move an existing 87-foot WPB from the Cape May, N.J. station, with one online source identifying the ship currently stationed there as the “Mako.”

“The 87-foot WPB is the dividing line between the USCG’s small response boats and large cutters and they are vital to offshore missions. Currently, there is not an 87-foot WPB homeported in Sector North Carolina. Offshore patrols and missions are being conducted either by 110-foot WPBs from SFO Fort Macon in Atlantic Beach, NC or by 87-foot WPBs from Sector Hampton Roads in Virginia on a rotating schedule. Under current operations, vessels and manpower are being diverted from other missions, which reduces operational readiness and mission effectiveness,” the report said.

The report said that the 87-foot cutter would be able to perform a variety of missions and provide flexibility for local rescues and maritime law enforcement.

It is a fast, sturdy, highly maneuverable boat capable of operating in rough seas with wave height up to 8 feet,” the report said. “It includes an innovative stern launch-and-recovery system using a rigid hull inflatable boat.”

The Coast Guard is inviting public comment on the proposed relocation through July 29. Information about the relocation is available at, the USCG website,  and the Northeast Regional branch of the New Hanover County Library.


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