Ukrainian patrol vessel Sloviansk
Ukrainian patrol vessel Sloviansk

Russia Reportedly Sinks Ex-Island-class USCGC Cushing Donated to Ukraine

On 3 March 2022 during the Russian invasion of Ukranian patrol boat Sloviansk, a former U.S. Coast Guard Island Class patrol boat was performing reconnaissance and protection missions for the ports of Odesa and to the south in the Black Sea when it was hit and sunk. Volodymyr Novatsky, mayor of the port city of Yuzhny, announced March 6 in a video posted to YouTube that the vessel had sunk and an unknown number of crew members were missing, including a resident of his town. Volodymyr Novatsky expressed condolences to the families of the sailors.

Known formerly as the Coast Guard cutter Cushing, Sloviansk was homeported in the Ukrainian city of Odessa along with the Starobilsk, formerly the U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat Drummond, which also was transferred to Ukraine in 2019. On 27 September 2018, ownership of Cushing and USCGC Drummond were formally transferred to Ukraine, after their retirement from the United States Coast Guard. The two vessels were shipped, as deck cargo, and arrived in Odessa on 21 October 2019.

Sloviansk and Starobilsk arriving in Odessa

The patrol vessel was renamed after the Donbass city Sloviansk. This name perpetuates the memory of the fallen defenders of Ukraine, natives of this city — sailor Roman Napriaglia, senior sailor Sergiy Mayboroda. Originally named USCGC Cushing was built at Bollinger Shipyards in Lockport, Louisiana, in early 1988 and commissioned on 4 August 1988, at Coast Guard Base Mobile, Alabama. She was homeported in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. On 8 March 2017 Cushing was decommissioned along with USCGC Nantucket in North Carolina.Island-class patrol boats are based on Vosper Thornycroft 33-metre (108 ft) patrol boats and have similar dimensions.

Cushing has an overall length of 110 feet (34 m). It had a beam of 21 feet (6.4 m) and a draft of 7 feet (2.1 m) at the time of construction. The patrol boat has a displacement of 154 long tons (156 t) at full load and 137 long tons (139 t) at half load. It is powered by two Paxman Valenta 16 CM diesel engines or two Caterpillar 3516 diesel engines. The Island-class patrol boats have maximum sustained speeds of 29.5 knots (54.6 km/h; 33.9 mph). It has two 99 kilowatts (135 PS; 133 shp) 3304T diesel generators made by Caterpillar. Its hull is constructed from highly strong steel, and the superstructure and major deck are constructed from aluminium.