The United States Coast Guard commissioned a new Keeper-class of coastal buoy tenders in the 1990s that are 175 feet (53 m) in length and named after Lighthouse keepers.
Keeper Class cutters serve the Coast Guard in a variety of missions. Keeper Class tenders are tasked with maintaining aids to navigation (ATON), search and rescue (SAR), law enforcement (LE), migrant interdiction, marine safety inspections, environmental protection and natural resources management. Keeper Class cutters have limited ice breaking capability.
These vessels are 175' long and replaced the WWII era 157' and 133' tenders. The new class of buoy tender cut crew size from 35 and 26, respectively, to 25 saving the already cash strapped Coast Guard financial and personnel resources.
By kjfitz @ 2011-09-01 20:02:31