- USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30)
USCGC "Mackinaw" (WLBB-30) is a convert|240|ft|m|sing=on vessel built as a heavy
icebreakerfor operations on the North American Great Lakesfor the United States Coast Guard. She should not be confused with a namesake ship, the USCGC "Mackinaw" (WAGB-83), which was decommissioned on June 10, 2006.
"Mackinaw" was delivered to the Coast Guard on November 18, 2005 and commissioned on June 10, 2006. In addition to her ice-breaking duties, the "Mackinaw" will also serve as an Aids to Navigation ship, able to perform the same duties as the Seagoing Buoy Tenders (WLB) of the Coast Guard fleet.
One of the "Mackinaw"'s unique features in the US Coast Guard fleet is the use of
azipods for her main propulsion. These, coupled with a Convert|550|hp|kW|0|abbr=on bow thruster, makes the ship exceptionally maneuverable. Azipods also negate the need for a traditional rudder, as the azipods can turn 360 degrees on their axis direct thrust in any direction. The "Mackinaw" also lacks a traditional ships steering wheel. Much of the ship's technology, including the azipod thrusters is from Finnish Maritime Cluster.
The "Mackinaw" got off to a rocky start before being commissioned. In an unfortunate mishap, the "Mackinaw" struck a
seawallin Grand Haven, Michiganwhile enroute to her new home portof Cheboygan, MI on December 12, 2005 while being piloted by the XO, LCDR Nathan A. Podoll. The accident caused a convert|10|ft|m|sing=on dent in the bow of the "Mackinaw" on her starboard side. Shortly after the accident, Captain Donald Triner, the commanding officer of the "Mackinaw", was temporarily relieved of duty pending an investigation into the accident. The accident did not delay the ship's scheduled arrival in her new home port. She arrived on December 17, 2005. Captain Triner was later permanently relieved of duty and replaced by Captain Michael Hudson, who was replaced in turn by Cmdr. John Little in April 2006. Most recently Cmdr. Scott J. Smith assumed command in July 2008.
The "Mackinaw" can be seen and toured at Grand Haven, MI's Coast Guard Festival every summer.
* [http://www.uscg.mil/d9/cgcMackinaw/default.asp The official "Mackinaw" website.]
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