Mohawk rejected?

Brian of Grand Rapids asked, "Came back from Key West last month saddened after hearing that Grand Haven turned their backs on acquiring the sister ship of the original Escanaba. The Mohawk eventually was sunk as a reef. What happened?"
Mark Brooky
Dec 30, 2013

"That would have been a great addition to the waterfront as the Silversides is to Muskegon," Brian added.


Brian, it doesn't appear the city received a serious proposal to bring the Mohawk to Grand Haven.

"I was aware of the prospective acquisition," said Cmdr. Sean Brady, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard's Sector Field Office Grand Haven. "However, my involvement was limited to advising the city (mayor's office) of potential cost and maintenance associated with owning the vessel. The offer was weighed very carefully and involved a lot of input, analysis and deliberation."

City Manager Pat McGinnis said there have been occasional overtures about the Mohawk, but it never developed into a full-fledged idea.

"I do not have any official correspondence or record of any proposal coming to the city on this topic," he noted. "There are occasional overtures on such matters. For the record, the City of Grand Haven did not turn its back on the (Mohawk)."

According to the Coast Guard's website, the second vessel named Mohawk was a 165-foot A-class cutter built in Wilmington, Del., and commissioned in January 1935. She served primarily as an escort and ice patrol ship in the north Atlantic until being taken out of service in January 1948. The Mohawk was then used as a pilot boat on the Delaware River for more than 30 years.

The old Mohawk still serves, but now as an artificial reef for divers. In July 2012, she was scuttled off the coast of Sanibel Island, near Fort Myers, Fla., to become an artificial "Veterans Memorial Reef."
According to an article on, she is the delight of both divers and fishermen: "Speaking of the plan to use the Mohawk as an artificial reef, the last captain of the Mohawk, Cmdr. Mark Fedor called it, 'an honorable continuation of the legacy of the Mohawk and the United States Coast Guard.'"

The third Mohawk, a 270-foot cutter, was commissioned in 1989 and still services from its homeport of Key West.

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Thank god it didn't end up here. It would be just another rusting piece of junk, no different than the Silversides, which does little or nothing for Muskegon.

Tri-cities realist

Yeah we shouldn't try to restore any of our historical vessels, planes, trains, etc. so we can marvel at creations of the past. We should just scrap them all, so we don't have any tangible record of history. What a great idea, eh?


We must remember our history, or be ready to replay it, besides honoring and respecting those who have died defending freedom deserves all the recognition we can muster.
God Bless the Constitution.


Is that just your opinion or do you have data to support that line of thought?
According to the guy I knew who worked there the Silversides is a fairly decent money maker for the city.


Actually I believe they also have the USCGC MCLANE as well, a cutter built in 1927 that also saw action during WWII...


So apparently the City WAS aware that the Mohawk might be available. But because the City was never contacted or "received any overtures" they were unwilling or unable to seriously consider a formal feasibility study. How can it be said with a straight face that Grand Haven didn't turn it's back on the Mohawk when it ended up being scuttled?
Why can't governments ever be proactive and think in an entrepreneurial manner? The City couldn't have taken some initiative and done some fact finding? This is Coast Guard City USA last time I checked.
Yes, there are acquisition costs, upkeep and maintenance costs. It sounds like the City had some INFORMAL discussions with the Coast Guard (will the Tribune do a FOIA request to obtain that information???) but NEVER bothered to determine if any public/private/nonprofit/educational/veterans partnership opportunities might be available to help support bringing and maintaining the ship here.
Sorry Grand Haven, but in my opinion you got lazy and blew a great opportunity.


Well hey, at least they're consistent.

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