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. Named after George Boutwell, the Secretary of the Treasury under President Grant, she was built in 1967 at the Avondale Shipyards located in New Orleans, LA. After commissioning in 1968, Boutwell sailed to her first homeport in Boston, MA. Since then she has shifted homeports to Seattle, Alameda, and most recently San Diego, CA.
Boutwell’s successful missions have earned her fame and respect within the Coast Guard community. In 1980, Boutwell conducted the largest at-sea rescue ever recorded, when she rescued more than 500 people from the burning cruise ship “Prisendam,” in the Gulf of Alaska. In 1998, she also had the largest high-seas drift net bust in Coast Guard history. In 2005, Boutwell seized over $900 million in cocaine and was at the forefront of establishing “Go-Fast” response teams on all cutters across the service.
Boutwell continued to prove her versatility by participating in the Iraqi conflict. While in the Middle East, she 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 recent years, Boutwell has maintained her long line of meritorious service. In 2014, Boutwell received the Forrest O. Rednour Memorial Award for 2013 Dining Facility of the Year, highlighting her devotion to excellence in all facets of mission execution. In the summer of 2014, while participating in Operation Martillo, Boutwell and her crew interdicted over 5,000 pounds of cocaine with a street value of approximately $75 million. During this patrol, Boutwell was accredited with six drug interdictions and five disruptions and the detention of 22 suspected narco traffickers. Through joint efforts with the US Navy and other Coast Guard assets in the area, Boutwell sailed home with 28,000 pounds of cocaine valued at $423 million. Boutwell’s continued success has truly solidified her reputation as being “The Best in the West.”