Costa Rican Coast Guard to receive two former cutters from US

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has delivered two former multi-mission Island-class 110ft-long patrol boats, Long Island and Roanoke Island, to the Costa Rican coast guard in Caldera, Costa Rica.

The former cutters were transferred through the Office of International Acquisition’s Excess Defense Articles (EDA) programme.

Under the Foreign Military Sales programme, the USCG will provide new equipment to outfit the cutters, and technical and training services.

The cutters are expected to arrive in Costa Rica in the spring of next year.

Costa Rican minister of public security Gustavo Mata said: “With this new equipment, Costa Rica strengthens its capacity to carry out anti-narcotics operations, humanitarian actions and marine biodiversity conservation activities.”

US ambassador to Costa Rica Sharon Day added: “This area is the heart of maritime transit zones for illicit drugs, and we will help protect the waterways from illegal fishing. This critical milestone will underscore Costa Rica’s commitment to becoming a regional leader in the fight against drug trafficking, illegal fishing and other illicit activities.”

Based in Alaska, Long Island and Roanoke Island patrol boats entered service in the mid-1980s and were decommissioned in 2015.

The USCG currently has 23 of the 49 cutters in the class in service. The Island-class ships are being replaced with 58 154ft-long fast response cutters, 23 of which are already in service.

In September and December 2016, the USCG transferred two 110ft-long patrol boats to the Georgian coast guard and two to the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency respectively.