Coast Guard Unveils Historic Lifeboat in Chatham

20160506_113026CHATHAM – A historic lifeboat was unveiled as a new static display yesterday during a ceremony at Coast Guard Station Chatham.

The new display commemorates the first production of the 44-foot motor lifeboat purchased by the Coast Guard and was commissioned in Chatham in 1963.

Master Chief Jack Downey said the boat is special.

“It just reminds me, yeah it’s a great boat, but as you see it fit today, it can’t do anything until you put qualified crews on it,” said Downey.

The boat was previously used by crews at Station Chatham from 1963-1971, and then again from 2002-2009.

The vessel was replaced by the 42-foot Near-Shore lifeboat, which was designed for the Chatham Bar.

The Coast Guard built 110 44-foot motor lifeboats from 1962-1972.20160506_114135

The historic boat now on display was the first hull built and was the last to be taken out of service in 2009.

Chief Petty Officer Jack O’Neill came from Manila to attend the ceremony for the boat that he previously trained on.

He said it was worth the distance to see the boat again.

“It’s just an incredible boat, it brought me and my crew back every time,” said O’Neill. “It’s just an amazing boat, I was here in 2009 when we retired the thing, and I’m happy to see it here back in Chatham.”


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