Last month, Birdon delivered the ninth and tenth boats for their 47’ Motor Lifeboat (MLB) Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Since the contract award in 2019, Birdon has established full-rate production facilities on both the East and West coasts to facilitate the delivery process. Birdon remains on schedule to complete work for up to 117 47’ MLBs by 2029.
“It is my pleasure to lead the Birdon MLB Program in providing Coast Guard personnel with updated lifesaving capabilities that will serve them through 2047” said MLB Program Manager Dennis Hancock.
On June 9th, Birdon delivered the ninth boat for the Coast Guard’s 47’ MLB SLEP. The vessel was completed in Birdon’s Bellingham, WA facility before being delivered to Station Umpqua River along the Central Oregon Coast. The station is located in the fishing community of Winchester Bay, near Reedsport, Oregon, and has an area of responsibility from Heceta Head on the Oregon Coast south to Coos Bay. This is the first boat from Birdon’s Service Life Extension Program to be delivered to this station.
Five days later, on June 14th, Birdon completed work on its tenth boat for the program. After work completion and testing was finalized at Birdon’s Portland, CT facility, the vessel was delivered to Station Barnegat Light in New Jersey. Established in 1855, Station Barnegat Light’s area of responsibility ranges from Tom’s River Bridge in Tom’s River, N.J., to Little Egg Inlet, N.J., as well as encompassing another 50 nautical miles offshore. Station Barnegat Light is New Jersey’s only Surf Station, a designation reserved for locations where wave conditions exceed 8 feet (2.4m) for 36 days or more per year.
In 2019, Birdon was awarded a 10-year contract to perform a 20-year service life extension for up to 117 47’ USCG MLBs. The 47’ MLB is the Coast Guard’s primary search and rescue platform and is capable of operating in intense surf and heavy weather conditions. It has self-righting capabilities and the ability to operate in winds up to 50 knots, seas up to 30 feet and surf up to 20 feet. These features enhance the operational needs for the 47’ MLB in search and rescue, maritime law enforcement and contingency response.