Thursday, February 24, 2005

Coast Guard To Add To Fleet

The Coast Guard is building a new pier at Naval Station Everett for the base's newest ship, the Coastal Patrol Boat "Blue Shark". Work wrapped up last week on the six piles that will support the 120-foot-long floating pier. The pier, a concrete dock filled with plastic foam floats, should be finished by the end of April, said Coast Guard Lt. Ken Shovlin, project manager. The 87-foot-long Blue Shark is a Marine Protector-class coastal patrol boat. It will be the second Coast Guard vessel assigned to Naval Station Everett after it arrives later this year. The USCGC Henry Blake, a buoy tender, has been stationed in Everett since it went into service in October 2000. The new pier for the Blue Shark is being built at the North Wharf at Naval Station Everett, close to the mooring spot for the Henry Blake. Nearby, a 14,000-square-foot building will be constructed to give the Blue Shark crew a place to store supplies and equipment. The Coast Guard hopes to award a construction contract in the coming week. "We're looking at probably starting work mid-March, and finishing mid-July," Shovlin said. The pier and building project have a combined cost of approximately $850,000. Building the new pier at the North Wharf wasn't the only option that was considered. The Navy and the Coast Guard also looked at building the new pier at the South Wharf, where the Navy moors the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and other Warships. Also examined was a spot by Pier D, at the north end of the East Waterway, near Kimberly-Clark Paper Co. Both of those sites were rejected, though, because of concerns about possible interference with Navy operations. Space was also lacking for the Blue Shark's support building. Construction of the Blue Shark started in August. The vessel, built by Bollinger Shipyards Inc. of Lockport, La., will go through builder's trials and preliminary acceptance trials with the Coast Guard in April. The Blue Shark will be delivered to the Coast Guard in May. After three weeks of loading equipment onboard, Shovlin said, the boat and its 11-member crew will begin the journey to Everett.
The new pier for the Blue Shark

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