Escanaba among 3 ships visiting for festival

Alex Doty • Jul 28, 2018 at 12:00 PM

2018 is a special year for the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, with a focus on the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the cutter Escanaba during World War II.

To commemorate the occasion, the current U.S. Coast Guard cutter named Escanaba will be one of three ships to visit Grand Haven’s port during this year’s festival. It will be joined by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Neah Bay and the Canadian Coast Guard’s Constable Carriere.

Three other U.S. Coast Guard cutters — Hollyhock, Buckthorn and Morro Bay — were expected to visit but will not for various reasons.  

To help you prepare for this year’s ship visitors, we’ve included a rundown of all of the facts and figures prior to their arrival during the Parade of Ships on Monday, July 30.


The Escanaba is the seventh of 13 Famous-class medium-endurance cutters in the U.S. Coast Guard's inventory. Each is named after a cutter prominent in the Coast Guard's history.

The Escanaba was built by the R.E. Derecktor Shipyard in Middletown, Rhode Island. In fitting tribute to its namesake, it was commissioned in Grand Haven on Aug. 29, 1987.

The third Escanaba has patrolled the waters off New England to enforce federal and international fishing regulations, deep into the Caribbean on migrant interdiction patrols, and more recently through the Panama Canal to the Eastern Pacific for drug interdiction missions.

Neah Bay

The Neah Bay is a 140-foot, Bay-class icebreaking tug homeported in Cleveland, Ohio. Its missions include icebreaking, Homeland Security, lighthouse work, law enforcement and public affairs.

Bay-class cutters are state-of-the-art icebreakers used primarily for domestic ice-breaking duty. They are named after American bays and are stationed mainly in the northeastern U.S. and the Great Lakes.

They use a low-pressure bubbler system that forces air and water between their hull and the ice. This system improves icebreaking capabilities by reducing resistance against the hull, which reduces horsepower requirements.

Constable Carrière

The Constable Carrière is a mid-shore patrol vessel stationed in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. It’s the primary platform for the joint Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Marine Security Enforcement Team.

The primary mission of the program is to enhance national security, respond to potential threats, and secure the border on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway.

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