CGC Boutwell is the fifth of the Coast Guard’s fleet of 378 foot High Endurance Cutters. She engages in many CG missions, including Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Maritime Security, and National Defense. CGC Boutwell is named after George Boutwell, the Secretary of the Treasury under President Grant. She was built in 1967 in the Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans, LA. She was launched on 17 June 1967, and her launching sponsor was Mrs. Douglas Dillon. The cost of the new cutter was approximately $15,000,000 with additional costs of $5,000,000 for outfit. After she was commissioned in 1968, she sailed to her first homeport, Boston. In 1973 Boutwell moved to Seattle, where she remained until she underwent the Fleet Renovation and Modernization Program in 1990. Once the renovation was complete she moved to Coast Guard Island in Alameda, CA. In 2011 she relocated to San Diego, CA to replace the decommissioned CGC Hamilton.
Boutwell’s successful missions have earned her fame and respect in the Coast Guard Community. Boutwell’s successes include many historic records. In 1980 Boutwell conducted the largest at-sea rescue ever conducted, when she rescued more than 500 people from the burning cruise ship Prisendam, in the Gulf of Alaska. In 1998, Boutwell had the largest high-seas drift net bust in Coast Guard history.
In 2003, Boutwell participated in the Iraqi conflict. Boutwell valiantly defended the oil terminals off the coast of Iraq and Iran. For her many accomplishments and continued excellence, Boutwell received the Admiral John B. Hayes Award for Unit Excellence. In 2005, Boutwell seized over 900 million dollars in cocaine (28,000 lbs). In doing this, Boutwell was exercising the newly developed Go-Fast Response Team. With the help of the new HITRON helicopter, Boutwell could stop and seize drugs from every Go-Fast it pursued. Today, Boutwell continues to shine among the 378ft community by proving that CGC Boutwell is truly the Best in the West!