The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Anacapa is being decommissioned after 34 years of service, the last of which had the ship homeported in Port Angeles. A ceremony Friday bid farewell to the vessel, which will make its final journey to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Md., in the coming weeks. (Peter Segall/Peninsula News)

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Anacapa is being decommissioned after 34 years of service, the last of which had the ship homeported in Port Angeles. A ceremony Friday bid farewell to the vessel, which will make its final journey to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Md., in the coming weeks. (Peter Segall/Peninsula News)

Port Angeles-based cutter Anacapa decommissioned

110-foot vessel is one of few remaining Island-class cutters

PORT ANGELES — The U.S Coast Guard cutter Anacapa will make its final journey in the coming weeks after 34 years of service, the last two of which were based at Air Station Port Angeles.

“It’s a moment of reflection, gratitude and pride as we bid farewell to a vessel that has served our nation for 34 years with unwavering dedication and distinction,” said Chief Warrant Officer Holly Campbell, Anacapa’s commanding officer, at a ceremony Friday at USCG Air Station Port Angeles, honoring the vessel’s history.

Most of the ship’s tenure was spent in Peterburg, Alaska, where the Anacapa was homeported for 32 years until 2022 when it was relocated to Port Angeles to replace the cutter Cuttyhunk, which had suffered irreparable hull damage.

The 110-foot Anacapa was relocated to Port Angeles to serve out the remainder of Cuttyhunk’s term, but not before Cuttyhunk’s recently refurbished engines were transferred to the Anacapa.

The ship was the responding Coast Guard vessel on the scene when the Washington State Ferry M/V Walla Walla ran aground on Bainbridge Island in April 2023.

The Anacapa assisted in the evacuation of some 600 passengers aboard the ferry, and created a safe area around the vessel. The ship also was involved in the rescue of three people in a disabled sailboat which required an overnight tow.

In April 2012, the Anacapa was involved in the sinking of an unmanned Japanese “ghost ship” which had come unmoored and set adrift following a 2011 tsunami. The fishing boat had drifted into the Gulf of Alaska where it posed a hazard to passing vessels.

“Utilizing precision gunnery skills, the cutter sank the vessel, which posed a significant hazard to maritime navigation due to its size and potential for debris,” Fosse said. “It was probably one of the highlights of a gunners mate’s tour, as well.”

Anacapa was commissioned Jan. 13, 1990 and was one of 49 Island-class cutters built, only three of which will remain after the Anacapa leaves service.

Those cutters also are scheduled for decommissioning as the Coast Guard retires the Island-class cutters and replaces them with newer 154-foot Sentinel-class fast response cutters. Two Sentinel-class vessels are bound for District 13 waters in the next year, Fosse said, with 66 slated for service throughout the Coast Guard.

There are no immediate plans to replace the Anacapa in Port Angeles, according to Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier, public affairs officer with USCG, and one of the Sentinel-class vessels is bound for Astoria, Oregon.

“Over the years Anacapa has responded to natural disasters, freed entangled whales, and searched for missing aircraft and hunters,” said Rear Admiral Charles Fosse, commander of the USCG 13th District which covers Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

“We pulled the available data from systems that show Anacapa has logged some 58,000 hours of patrol time but that’s just since 2000 when the databases came into existence,” Fosse said. “You can add on probably another 22,000 hours on top of that.”

At the ceremony, Campbell was presented with an award for her service on the Anacapa, which she credited to the ship’s crew.

“That award that we get, it’s on their behalf,” Campbell said. “The crew makes up the cutter. I could not be in better company of a better crew today.”

________

Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsulanews.us.

More in News

Sen. Kevin Van de Wege.
Van de Wege honored as Legislator of Year

The Washington Farm Bureau has recognized state Sen. Kevin Van… Continue reading

U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, with Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Kilmer recognized by committee as Fiscal Hero

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer has been recognized as Fiscal… Continue reading

The rhododendrons in front of the Clallam County Courthouse are in full bloom on Monday. Spring weather will turn to showers for the rest of this week with high temperatures in the high 50s to low 60s. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula News)
In full bloom

The rhododendrons in front of the Clallam County Courthouse are in full… Continue reading

Officials cautious about shelter

Jefferson considers taking over operations

Habitat of Clallam County to open homes for veterans

Ribbon cutting for four-unit project set for May 28

Clallam commissioners reject McDonald Creek fish passage bid

Estimate more than doubles engineer’s projection

Volunteers work to construct the main play structure of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles on Sunday, the last day of a five-day community build to replace play equipment destroyed by arson in December. The playground, built entirely with donated labor, will be substantially complete with primarily detail work and play surface installation still to come. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)
Finishing touches

Volunteers work to construct the main play structure of the Dream Playground… Continue reading

Seabrook CEO Casey Roloff talks with community members about a planned 500- to 600-home development near Sequim Bay on April 23 at John Wayne Marina. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Sequim site could include 600 homes

Developer eyeing property near John Wayne Marina

Wait times at Olympic Medical Center emergency department improving, board told

Hospital aims to see patients within 30 minutes of arrival

Clallam to develop Salt Creek campsites for trail

Estimated development cost is $15,000 with annual maintenance at $1,500

Sarge’s Veteran Support house managers, from left, Danny Deckert, David Durnford and Steve Elmelund welcome attendees to the organization’s first fundraiser at the Dungeness River Nature Center on April 27. The event raised nearly $50,000. (Sarge’s Veteran Support)
Sarge's Veterans Support gets nearly $49K in first fundraiser

More than 100 attend event at Dungeness River Nature Center

Sequim schools looking at options with budget struggles

District freezes most hiring, aims to cut at least $2.5 million