POINT COUNTESS, 1962
Builder: Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD
Commissioned: 8 August 1962
Decommissioned: 25 May 2000
Disposition: Transferred to Republic of Georgia on 29 June 2000
Length: 82’10” oa, 78’ bp
Navigation Draft: 5’11” max (1960)
Beam: 17’7” max
Displacement: 69 fl; 60 light (1960)
Main Engines: 2 Cummins diesel (see class history)
Performance, Maximum Sustained: 18.0 kts, 542-mi radius (1,600 hp, 1963)
Performance, Economic: 9.4 kts, 1,500-mi radius (1,600 hp, 1963)
Maximum Speed: 22.9 kts (1963)
Fuel Capacity: 1,840 gal
Complement: 8 men (1960), 2 officers, 8 men (1965)
Radar: SPN-11, CR-103 (1960), or SPS-64
Armament: 1 x 20mm (1960), 5 x .50 cal mg, 1 x 81 mm mortar (Vietnam service)
Class history—The 82-foot patrol boats have mild steel hulls and aluminum superstructures. Longitudinally framed construction was used to save weight.
These boats were completed with a variety of power plants. 82301 through 82313, 82315 through 82317, and 82319 through 82331 were powered by two Cummins 600-hp diesels. Boats 82318 and 82332 through 82379 received two Cummins 800-hp diesels. The 82314 was fitted with two 1,000-hp gas turbines and controllable-pitch propellers. The purpose of this installation was to permit the service to evaluate the propulsion equipment. All units were eventually fitted with the 800-hp diesels. Units remaining in 1990 were re-equipped with Caterpillar diesels.
WPB 82301 through 82344 were commissioned without names; at that time the Coast Guard did not name patrol craft shorter than 100 feet. In January 1964 they were assigned names.
The Point Countess was stationed at Bellingham, WA, from 1962 to 1965. She was used for law enforcement and search and rescue operations.
In 1966 and 1967, she was stationed at Everett, WA. She was painted gray in 1967 and readied for action in Vietnam in support of Operation Market Time. At the last minute she was ordered to relieve the USCGC Cape Henlopen at Port Angeles, WA. She was stationed at Port Angeles from 1968 to 1988.
On 8 July 1968, she towed a disabled pleasure craft to Everett. On 1 October 1968, she towed the disabled F/V Beatrice 30 miles west of Port Angeles to that port. On 21 February 1969, she towed the disabled pleasure craft Betty J II from 25 miles west of Port Angeles to that port. On 18 January 1986, she helped seize M/V Eagle 1 entering the Strait of Juan de Fuca carrying 447 lbs of cocaine, the largest cocaine seizure by the Coast Guard to that date.
From 1988 until her decommissioning in 2000, she was stationed at Nokomis Beach, on the west coast of Florida. Here she continued in her law enforcement and search and rescue duties successfully. In late 1988, she seized pleasure craft Premolo in the Yucatan Channel carrying 800 lbs of cocaine in a concealed compartment. Additionally, she seized 8.5 million dollars worth of cocaine from a sailing vessel entering Tampa Bay, 5 tons of cocaine from the Belizean-flagged vessel Inge Frank, and the prosecution of dozens of personal use narcotics cases each year. In addition, she interdicted over 35 wanted felons from 1997 through her decommissioning.
Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.
"The 82-Foot Class Patrol Boat." U.S. Coast Guard Engineer's Digest No. 133 (Mar-Apr 1962), pp. 2-5.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990