USCGC RUSH is the fifth Coast Guard Cutter to be named after the eighth Secretary of the Treasury- Richard Rush. A member of John Quincy Adam’s cabinet from 1825-1828, Secretary Rush is best remembered for his accomplishments as statesman and diplomat.
USCGC RUSH is the ninth of the Hamilton Class High Endurance Cutters. It was launched on November 16, 1968 at New Orleans, LA, at an approximate cost of $20 million dollars. RUSH’s operational duties have varied considerably since her delivery.
In the early 1970’s, RUSH was involved in operations off of the coast of Vietnam. On the night of November 22nd, 1970, RUSH was part of a U.S. Naval force tasked with the capturing of a North Vietnamese supply trawler delivering weapons. The trawler tried to flee and then attacked the US Navy Minesweeper ENDURANCE, at which time the RUSH assisted along with three other U.S. warships in the eventual sinking of the trawler. On April 11th, 1971, RUSH saw additional combat in Vietnam. A North Vietnamese trawler was attempting infiltration into the south when it was engaged by the RUSH and two other U.S. warships and sunk after a devastating explosion.
On April 25th, 1999, RUSH detained a high seas drift-net fishing vessel suspected of illegal fishing. Within the next two weeks, RUSH seized two more high seas drift-net fishing vessels fishing illegally, which would result in the punishment of a Russian Captain.
In August of 2000, RUSH crossed the Pacific Ocean and arrived in Japan at the Yokosuma Naval Port. RUSH conducted a maritime law enforcement seminar for officials from the Japanese Coast Guard as well as the Japanese television and newspaper media. The seminar included a boarding simulation of a suspected fishing vessel smuggling drugs and stowaways.
In March 2001, RUSH was patrolling the waters off the coast of Central America when the Mexican-flagged fishing vessel TOLTECA I was encountered. The TOLTECA I was rigged as a long liner fishing vessel, but made no attempt to set any fishing gear and even bypassed some of the richest fishing grounds off the Baja Coast. The RUSH boarded the TOLTECA I and by using state-of-the-art technology, detected contraband aboard. This resulted in the confiscation of 4.6 tons of cocaine with a street value of over $150 million dollars.
In September of 2002, RUSH was patrolling the Maritime Boundary Line that separates U.S. waters from Russian waters. The foreign fishing vessel VIYTNA was discovered fishing illegally in U.S. waters. RUSH stopped and boarded the vessel and upon confirming the illegal fishing, then seized the vessel. Boarding team members from RUSH maintained watch over the VIYTNA as the RUSH escorted her back to Alaska for transfer of custody. As a result of this successful mission, RUSH was awarded the Coast Guard Unit Commendation.
In February 2003, RUSH was again patrolling off the coast of Central America when a drug smuggling boat was intercepted carrying over 5,000lbs of cocaine. The smugglers had set fire to the boat and jumped into the water before RUSH arrived on scene. The suspected smugglers were quickly recovered from the water by a RUSH boarding team as RUSH extinguished the fire at the same time. The boat was then boarded and 105 bales of cocaine were discovered by RUSH crewmembers. This seizure represented the first ever-solo drug bust by the cutter RUSH.
In July of 2003, RUSH, under authority of a U.S. – China Memorandum of Understanding on high seas driftnet fishing boarded the Chinese fishing vessel QI DONG in the northern Pacific Ocean. The boarding party from RUSH, including a Chinese fisheries law enforcement official, observed, investigated, reported and ultimately disabled or confiscated the gear used to fish illegally. The boarding party confiscated 393 bags of new fishing nets, location transponders, floats, winches and other fishing gear. The boarding party also disabled more than eight miles of driftnet that they left on board the QI DONG.
Presently, Maritime Law Enforcement is the RUSH’s major mission. From the waters of Alaska to the waters of Hawaii, RUSH boards foreign and domestic fishing vessels located within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone to ensure compliance with U.S. Laws. In addition, the events of September 11th, 2001, have also placed an emphasis on homeland security. This is a role that the RUSH and her crew proudly take part in on a daily basis. RUSH could be seen off the coast of Oahu during Operation Iraqi Freedom in March of 2003 providing homeland security in the area and, more recently, RUSH conducted numerous successful counter-drug operations and law enforcement operations in the waters off of ALASKA and Central America.
RUSH and her crew exemplify the Coast Guard’s Core Values of Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty in every task that is assigned to them. RUSH is proud to be "Semper Paratus", Always Ready, to complete her various missions.