Hundreds witness new Coast Guard cutter "brought to life" in Charleston

Hundreds witness new Coast Guard cutter "brought to life" in Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It's 418 feet long, and nearly 4300 tons.

The largest, and newest national security cutter, Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton, is now at home in the city of Charleston.

Hundreds gathered at the Port of Charleston Saturday, in a near two-hour long event which featured U.S. Coast Guard members commissioning the ship, in a ceremonial display described as "bringing to life."

Crew members marched aboard the Cutter Hamilton, lining the vessel, while raising the United States flag to full mast, accompanied by the sounding of the ships sirens.

The vessel is named after Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, and now stands as the first of its kind homeported on the East Coast.

"It's very emotional," Doug Hamilton said, also the 5th great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton.

"Just the fact that here we are 225 years later, the Coast Guard is remembering him, his accomplishments, his contribution."

Captain Douglas Fears, the cutter's commanding officer, said the ship is capable of traveling around the world, but will predominately serve the western hemisphere.

"This is my eighth ship and my last ship," Fears said.

"It's a little bittersweet that I'm probably at the end of my Coast Guard career."

The Cutter Hamilton will head out to sea Monday, as crews undergo helicopter training.

Copyright WCSC 2014.  All rights reserved.