Atlantic Boat and Marine News and Information
USGC Eagle Returns to Charleston Harbor
CHARLESTON, SC (Mon 06/08/09) --

The US Coast Guard Cutter Eagle will return to Charleston Harbor for the 2009 Charleston Harbor Fest. The 295 foot Eagle is one of eighteen tall ships expected for the event which will run from June 26th through June 29th. The largest ships, including the 376 foot Kruzenshtern from Russia, will be moored at the State Ports Authority passenger terminal and at the Maritime Center. Many others will drop anchor in the harbor.

The Eagle is used as a training cutter for future officers of the United States Coast Guard. She, along with the Navy's USS Constitution, are the only active commissioned sailing vessels in US military service today. Each summer the Eagle conducts training cruises with cadets from the United States Coast Guard Academy for periods ranging from a week to two months. The ship also performs a public relations role often making calls on foreign ports as a goodwill ambassador.

The German-built ship was launched in Hamburg, Germany in 1936 and was originally named the Horst Wessel. Commissioned by Adolf Hitler himself, the Horst Wessel was taken as a war prize by the United States at the end of World War II. She was commissioned into the United States Coast Guard as the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle in 1946.

The Eagle has a standing crew of six officers and 56 crewmen. On training missions, she carries on average a complement of 12 officers, 68 crew, and up to 150 cadets. Overall the Eagle displaces 1,824 tons. Her hull is steel. Her raised forecastle, quarterdeck, and weather decks are also steel overlaid with three inches of teak. Her auxiliary diesel engine is rated at 1,000 horsepower. Under diesel power she has a range of 5,450 nautical miles at her cruise speed of 7.5 knots. Under sail she is capable of maintaining speeds up to 19 knots.

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