Acushnet, who received three battle stars for her services in World War II, has been bought by organisation Ocean Guardian to protect the environment and enforce the law
Former U.S. Coast Guard cutter Acushnet, retired from service in 2011, has now been acquired by non-profit organization Ocean Guardian and is being re-fitted and re-purposed to be used in environmental protection and law enforcement. Acushnet, formerly known as USS Shackle, also served in World War II as a US Navy Diver class rescue and salvage ship.
“This noble ship, the Acushnet, will now become the centerpiece of the mission behind Ocean Guardian,” stated Kenneth Welch, President and CEO of Ocean Guardian, an environmental protection and remediation organization originally formed in 1997.
“We’re excited because it’s a happy ending for her, and an important new duty for a ship that earned three battle stars during World War II and participated in many heroic rescues at sea and other historic roles since she was launched in 1944,” he added.
“Her new role will involve the protection of oceanic waters, detouring illegal activity such as illegal fishing, waste dumping and killing of protected endangered marine life, as well as unilaterally working on our vital oceanic cleanup and recovery programs.”
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Decommissioned in 2011, the Acushnet was known at the time as the ‘Queen of the Fleet’ and was the oldest commissioned cutter in the Coast Guard’s fleet. Homeported in Ketchikan, Alaska, she was also the only WWII ship still on duty with the Coast Guard. She went through a refit before she was purchased by Ocean Guardian.
Acushnet is currently berthed in the Washington area and is being renovated to fulfil her new duties.
Her new role will be to protect and preserve the world’s oceans, and specifically to recover plastics, protect fisheries, and training in law enforcement domestically and internationally.
She will be tasked with“environmental protection and remediation; anti-piracy; marine anti-poaching; fisheries enforcement; oceanic clean up; maritime law enforcement training; humanitarian missions; scientific research and much more”, Welch says.