the 1930s, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock began its voyage in Michigan
waters, embarking on a half-century journey that took it to war and back.
the Coast Guard will commission a new, larger, high-tech Hollyhock cutter
in a morning ceremony with music and speeches.
2,000 tons and with more than 50,000 moving parts to help it navigate,
"it's a little more complicated than a Chevy," Lt. Cmdr. Mike
McBrady, said Thursday at a rehearsal for the commissioning.
new ship has a 52-member crew. Older ones usually require about 30 more
people, said Coast Guardsman Jim Jurczak.
a lot of new stuff to learn so it makes it a little bit hard, but on the
other hand, it makes it a lot easier to do your job," Jurczak said.
is the first ship the 22-year-old Florida native has been assigned to
since he joined the Coast Guard in June.
is fresh. The deck is spacious. The Coast Guardsmen are in good spirits.
At the rehearsal,
Coast Guardsmen who are assigned to other cutters told him the Hollyhock
will be a nice place to start.
four years there's a complete cutter crew turnover, said Lt. (j.g.) Zach
Ford of Grand Rapids, who is helping coordinate the Hollyhock's commissioning.
The 14th vessel
in the Juniper Class, the Port Huron-based Hollyhock is the first of its
class to be stationed in the Great Lakes.
of the Hollyhock and other ships in Juniper include breaking through 3-foot-thick
ice, and picking up buoys before they get frozen in and returning them
before spring so commercial boats can navigate safely. The vessel can
also be used for search and rescue, maritime homeland security, law enforcement
and pollution response.
is an upgraded replacement to the Bramble, which the Coast Guard gave
to the Port Huron Historical Society following its decommission in May
Hollyhock won service stars during World War II and sailed in the Korean
War. The 175-foot-long ship was decommissioned in 1982. It was sunk off
the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., coast in 1990 and is now a popular diving attraction.
The new cutter
is expected to travel along upstate New York to Wisconsin, McBradysaid.
It has navigated lakes since the Coast Guard received it Oct. 15, 2003.