Ever wonder who puts in place and maintains those thousands of red nuns and green can buoys throughout the navigational waters of the U.S.? A single example of a USCG buoy tender is currently on display at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.
The USCGC William Tate was built by Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette Wisconsin, launched May 8, 1999 and delivered to the Coast Guard on September 16th, 1999. She arrived in her homeport of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 10th, 1999 and was formally commissioned on June 3rd, 2000. The William Tate began her first operational aids-to-navigation deployment on November 29, 1999.
USCGC William Tate and her crew are responsible for the maintenance of 250 buoys in the Delaware Bay and River, and the Upper Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, William Tate is designed, constructed and equipped to ably perform other Coast Guard missions such as domestic ice breaking, marine environmental protection, and maritime law enforcement.
The 24 member crew of the 175 foot Coast Guard Cutter William Tate sails between New Jersey and Pennsylvania along the Delaware River, not far from their home port of Philadelphia. Safety is always stressed for the work of hauling an 8,000 pound buoy attached to a crane hook aboard the deck of the ship.
The Coast Guard Cutter William Tate is one of many 175-foot coastal buoy tenders responsible for keeping the nation’s waterways safe and viable. Buoys are guideposts that keep sailors and recreational boaters on safe pathways, and those who tend them do one of the toughest jobs in the Coast Guard. The continuous efforts of the crew of the William Tate to maintain buoys in the Delaware Bay and River are a testament to the time-honored decision made by this nation 156 years ago to maintain aids to navigation.