USCGC Vigorous (WMEC-627)
|Builder:||American Ship Building Company, Lorain, Ohio|
|Laid down:||10 November 1967|
|Launched:||4 May 1968|
|Acquired:||2 May 1969|
|Commissioned:||2 May 1969|
|Homeport:||JEB Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia Beach, VA|
|Length:||210 ft 6 in (64.16 m)|
|Beam:||34 ft (10 m)|
|Draught:||10 ft 6 in (3.20 m) max|
|Propulsion:||2 x V16 2550 horsepower ALCO diesel engines|
|Speed:||max 18 knots; 2,700 mile range|
|Range:||cruise 14 knots; 6,100 mile range|
|Complement:||12 officers, 63 enlisted|
|Sensors and |
|2 x AN/SPS-73/SINS|
|Aircraft carried:||HH-65 Dolphin|
Her keel was laid down by American Ship Building Company, Lorain, Ohio 10 November 1967 and she was launched 4 May 1968. Vigorous was commissioned 2 May 1969 and her current homeport is Virginia Beach, VA.
Her initial homeport was in New London, Connecticut where she was moored at the United States Coast Guard Academy. She was decommissioned for modernization at the United States Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, in early 1992 and was recommissioned on 11 January 1993.
On 11 February 2013, the Vigorous stood by the disabled 102,000-ton cruise ship Carnival Triumph adrift in the Gulf of Mexico waiting to be towed. On Sunday, 10 February 2013 at 5:30 a.m. CST, the Carnival Triumph suffered a fire in her aft engine room. Although the fire was automatically extinguished and there were no injuries to passengers or crew, it resulted in a loss of propulsion and power to all support systems. With 4,229 persons on board, raw sewage began to back up into the lower passenger deck areas. This caused the media to dub the event "The Poop Cruise." A Coast Guard supplied emergency generator was providing minimal electrical power, while the ship was adrift about 150 miles off the northern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico. The ship was originally expected to be towed to the Mexican port of Progreso. However, after being carried north by currents while awaiting arrival of large, seagoing tugboats, she was towed to Mobile, Alabama instead. Vigorous escorted Carnival Triumph during her tow.
During May 2014, the Vigorous was spearheading the search for the Yacht Cheeki Rafiki one thousand miles east of Cape Cod, which went missing on a delivery voyage from Antigua to Southampton, England. The overturned hull of the capsized Cheeki Rafiki was found on the evening of 23 May 2014 with the keel broken off and the uninflated life raft inside the hull. All four sailors on board were presumed lost at sea.
While in service, Vigorous has been awarded:
- Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation
- United States Secretary of Transportation’s Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement
- 4 Coast Guard Unit Commendations
- 6 Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendations
- Meritorious Team Commendation
- Coast Guard Bicentennial Unit Commendation
- 14 Coast Guard "E" Ribbons
- 3 National Defense Service Medals
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- 2 Humanitarian Service Medals
- Department of Transportation 9-11 Ribbon
- 2 Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbons
- 13 Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbons
- Mark Morgenstein; Ben Brumfield & Mike Pearson (13 February 2013). "Supplies reach befouled cruise ship in Gulf of Mexico". CNN.
- "CNN Exclusive: Carnival knew of fire danger before cruise, documents show".
- Newcomb, Alyssa (10 February 2013). "Carnival Cruise Ship Stranded Near Mexico". ABC News. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Sloan, Gene (10 February 2013). "Carnival cruise ship on emergency power after fire". USA Today. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
- US Navy find the hull of the Cheeki Rafiki with life raft inside
- USCGC Vigorous home page