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Coast Guard completes service life extension work on fifth 47-foot motor lifeboat


The fifth 47-foot motor lifeboat to complete service life extension program work departs the West Coast production facility in Bellingham, Washington, for Coast Guard Station Coos Bay, Oregon, Sept. 21, 2022. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Coast Guard completed service life extension program (SLEP) activities on the fifth 47-foot motor lifeboat (MLB) Sept. 16. The MLB will be placed back in service at Coast Guard Station Coos Bay, Oregon.

The Coast Guard has more than 117 MLBs that have been in service for 15 to 21 years and are approaching the end of their planned 25-year service life. The SLEP will extend the service life of these MLBs by an additional 20 years.   

The main SLEP work addresses technical obsolescence in systems such as the main propulsion, electrical, steering, towing and navigation systems. It also focuses on the repair and replacement of deteriorating areas in the hull and structure. The operational capabilities and characteristics of the MLB remain the same. The SLEP work is being performed at facilities in Bellingham, Washington, and Portland, Connecticut.

The 47-foot MLB is the Coast Guard’s primary search and rescue platform operating in surf and heavy weather conditions. It has self-righting capability and the ability to operate in winds up to 50 knots, seas up to 30 feet and surf up to 20 feet. The operational need for these unique capabilities in search and rescue, maritime law enforcement and contingency response remains high.

For more information: Boat Acquisition Program and In-Service Vessel Sustainment Program pages