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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Fire on board delays Diligence departure

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THE FOLLOWING IS A NEWS RELEASE FROM THE COAST GUARD:

WILMINGTON, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- An electrical fire on a Coast Guard cutter in Wilmington, N.C., Thursday, is delaying its departure for a multi-mission patrol to the Caribbean.

While preparing to leave at approximately 9 a.m., the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence’s general emergency alarm began to sound, alerting the crew to a fire in the engine room. The crew quickly responded and upon investigation, the crew found an electrical fire on one of the ship’s generators.

"It is disappointing and professionally frustrating when after months of hard work maintaining our cutter and conducting, training something like a fire prevents us from achieving full operational potential," said Cmdr. Douglas Goodwin, the commanding officer aboard the Diligence. "Fortunately, no one was injured, and the crew's response prevented damage from spreading. The crew will continue to work hard to restore our aging cutter to fully mission capable status as soon as possible in order to provide critical persistent presence in the maritime domain."

During the ship’s last tour, the crew had to return three weeks early due to a casualty to a another generator.

"The Coast Guard's existing fleet is reaching a point where some vessels are no longer capable of reliably or effectively performing operations resulting in unexpected casualties and lost patrol days as evident today with the cutter Diligence," said Ensign Andrew Price, the public affairs officer aboard the Diligence.

The 49-year-old Diligence and the other medium endurance cutters are slated for replacement by a new class of cutters. The new Offshore Patrol Cutter will operate more than 50 miles from land, carrying out the Coast Guard's maritime security and safety activities in support of national interests.

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A last-minute change in plans for the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence this morning. It was scheduled to leave on a new mission, but a problem on board will keep the ship in port.

"It's always tough when they go," Diane Sharp said as she waited to see her son, a Diligence crewmember, set sail. "Their deployments on the boat are shorter, so we don't have to be tormented for too long."

Sharp and other family and friends were ready to say goodbye to the Diligence and its crew Thursday morning, but that all changed within minutes.

A generator on board malfunctioned delaying a counter drug deployment to the Caribbean.

Cmdr. Douglas Goodwin calls his crew's response outstanding.

"They were able to press forward, minimize the damage and isolate it to just the generator," he said.

So those dreaded goodbyes will be put on hold while the crew tries to figure out just what caused the generator to catch fire.

"So we're delayed," Cmdr. Goodwin said. "I don't know how long we're delayed for, but we hope to be getting out to sea soon."

Once at sea the Diligence will head to the Caribbean as planned before continuing to Florida for more training. The Diligence crew deploy for roughly two months before returning to Wilmington.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Kudos Commander and Crew of Diligence

Big Kudos go out to the entire crew of the Diligence. Stopping an onboard ship fire in short order deserves praise instead of cutting them down. They did what they were trained to do! Better they had the problem in shore instead of being out to sea.
Shows the CG training is still the best regardless of circumstances.
Keep up the great work Commander

Question ....

Can someone please tell me why the Diligence has a home port in Wilmington, NC when it seems to be deployed in the Caribbean whenever it leaves port? As much as I love living in Wilmington, and am proud of the fact that Wilmington provides a hospitipal home port for both the ship and its crew, it just doesn't seem to make much sense for its home port to be so far north of its duty station.

FYI: I'm not trying to start one of those crazy discussions we all seem to participate in from time to time, I would really just like to know.

It's a medium-endurance cutter...

It is a multi-mission cutter. Diligence also performs fisheries enforcement off New Jersey and DELMARVA. It has about a two week fuel endurance and goes where it's needed for operations. For a couple of years, they didn't do the Caribbean counter-drug mission...just migrant operations off Haiti and the Florida Straits. Diverse homeports give the Coast Guard and the nation the best flexibility.

No she doesn't. This ship

No she doesn't. This ship hasn't been north of VA since 2009 when she went in to the CG yard in Baltimore. This boat does not go anywhere else. The only time we take a left coming out of the Cape Fear is to go to VA for an emergency drydock because something broke...again. The reason it is homeported in this "hospitable" port is because back in 1992 as she was coming out of MMA some Congressman made a fuss and wanted an active duty ship assigned to their area, just so happened they could cite tradition and history. In all actuality, being homeported here is the biggest PITA. We're a tourist attraction. People get incensed if we try to keep them away from things THAT WILL HURT THEM!! Atlantic Beach or Charleston at a base would be a much better homeport for this ship.

Plus, it stacks the Congressional deck....

....when budget time rolls around. Lots of locations mean lots of Congressmen clamoring about how essential their facility is. "My consitients cannot be safe without a Coast(?) Guard presence on Lake (?) Havasu."

Of course, the Coast Guard are relative amateurs compared to the Air Force!

Yes, we are relative

Yes, we are relative amateurs compared to them, that is why we've been around longer, have participated in every engagement the US has ever had. We're so amateurish that the local air force base came to my unit to request waterborne security for their fuel depot after 9/11...

Hey. Thats your opinion.I

Hey. Thats your opinion.I DIDN'T SEE THE AIR FORCE MENTIONED IN THE QUESTION.DO THEY ONLY SERVE WHERE THEY ARE BASED?

Thanks for the info

Didn't really know too much about this stuff so thanks again for bringing me up to speed.

Why don't you ask your chain

Why don't you ask your chain of command?

My chain of command ?

Own my own business and after having already asked myself (my chain of command) if I knew the answer, I discovered I didn't. If you weren't astute enough to realize by my user name that I might possibly be in the Food And Beverage / Hospitality Industry, my condolences on your lack of .... (please feel free to fill in the rest of this sentence yourself)