St. John Tradewinds News

Coast Guard Boat Forces in U.S. Virgin Islands To Operate 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement Boats

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands — The commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan announced the stationing of four 33-Special Purpose Craft Law-Enforcement boats in the U.S. Virgin Islands during a press conference Friday at Marine Safety Detachment Saint Thomas.

Two of the 33-foot Special Purpose Crafts are being assigned to the Coast Guard Boat Forces Detachment in St. Thomas, while the other two will be stationed at Coast Guard Boat Forces Detachment in St. Croix.

“The assignment of Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boats in the U.S. Virgin Islands significantly enhances our response and law enforcement presence in the area by providing our units with greater capabilities when responding to potential threats and search and rescue calls,” said Capt. Robert Warren, Sector San Juan commander.  “This summer the Coast Guard will be adding to that capability with the arrival of the Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon; the first of six Fast Response Cutters that will be assigned to Sector San Juan.”

“The shores of the U.S. Virgin Islands represent another point of entry for illegal drugs, guns, and unauthorized entry into the United States,” said Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress. “Having these four Special Purpose Crafts stationed in St. Croix and St. Thomas allows the Coast Guard to respond further off shore to law enforcement, search and rescue operations, and the protection of our islands. These are welcome resources for our local law enforcement and rescue apparatus.”

The Coast Guard’s 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement is a multi mission vessel designed and built primarily for counter-drug and migrant missions along the U.S. maritime border. Powered by three 300 horsepower outboard engines, the SPC-LE’s speed and agility make it a very capable interceptor. The SPC-LE is outfitted with six shock-absorbent crew seats to minimize crew fatigue and is equipped with a state-of the-art navigation system and secure communications capability.

Coast Guard Boat Forces Detachments in St. Thomas and St. Croix are subordinate units of Coast Guard Boat Station San Juan.  Each unit will be operating 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement boats to carry out search and rescue, drug and migrant interdiction, fisheries enforcement, recreational boating safety and the escort of cruise ships and high interest commercial cargo vessels in the U.S. Virgin Islands.