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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The US Coast Guard is modernizing its boats.

Station Wrightsville Beach got this 45-foot boat in June and will get another in February. Each costs $2.2 million. They are expected to last about 15 years.

It replaces their more than 30-year-old, 41-foot utility boat, or what they call 41.

The 41 is operated by a steering wheel and rudder system. The new 45, however, is electronic and uses a water jet system, which increases capabilities.

“We can put it in shallower water than 41 with the jets. Also, the speed and the maneuverability the jets provide us with over the standard screws is much better,” Tucker said.

The 45 is almost twice as fast; leaving the 41 in its wake.

“It halves our time of response, which makes me feel better,” PO2 Eric Tucker. “We joined the coast guard to help people, and being able to have a more capable boat to respond definitely makes the crew feel that we are about to serve the public better.”

The boat can navigate through 12 foot seas and travel 50 miles off shore.

Wrightsville Beach is the second station in North Carolina to get this boat.

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