SAVING THE SEAS
Acushnet, a Coast Guard cutter involved in one of the most famous rescues in the history of the service branch, is being recommissioned to help save the oceans.
The 213-foot diverclass vessel actually got its start in World War II as the USS
Shackle, a salvage and rescue ship based out of Pearl Harbor that completed 55 salvage and rescue operations in the Pacific Theater — its crew was decorated several times over for its service.
After World War II, the Coast Guard recommissioned the vessel as Acushnet, beginning its second life as a search-andrescue cutter, as well as an ice-patrol boat monitoring icebergs, based out of Portland, Maine. Acushnet was involved in the rescue of several crewmen after two tankers split in two during a blizzard off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952. The larger story of that rescue, involving local Coasties in a small boat, became the basis of the 2016 movie The Finest Hours. The cutter served with distinction until the Coast Guard decommissioned it in 2011.
Now a nonprofit conservation group called Ocean Guardian is repurposing the venerated cutter to help in its mission of cleaning and protecting the ocean and its natural resources.
With the help of the National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy and the International Maritime Law Enforcement Academy, Ocean Guardian is refitting
Acushnet to assist in deterring illegal fishing and dumping, as well as recovering plastics that have been building up in our seas. The old cutter will also be used for law enforcement training. The ship will be based in Anacortes, Washington.