44ft Motor Lifeboats
By Aaron Bodbyl-Mast

The Grand Haven Tribune

This article first posted on the Holland Sentinel Online web site
On the 8th November 2002
RETIRING: Group Grand Haven Cmdr. Anthony Popiel, middle, stands with the crew of the 44-foot motor life boat, 44382, from Coast Guard Station Michigan City, Ind. The boat is being decommissioned.
No other boat was in site as the 44382 sounded its horn as it left U.S. Coast Guard Station Grand Haven and entered the Grand River channel.

The noise resounded through the chilled morning air, signaling the end of an era.

The 35-year-old 44382 was being taken to North Shore Marina this morning to be placed into storage.

The 44382 is the last 44-foot motor life boat on the Great Lakes to be decommissioned. It made its final voyage Wednesday, a cold, 8 1/2-hour trip up from Station Michigan City, Ind., where it was stationed.

The Coast Guard has been replacing the 44-foot motor life boasts with the new, faster and more technologically advanced 47-foot motor life boats.

Group Grand Haven Cmdr. Anthony Popiel said the 44382 is one of three remaining 44-foot motor life boats in the United States. The other two are stationed in Bodega Bay, Calif. and Chatham, Mass.

The 44382 was built in 1967 in Curtis Bay, Md. It was utilized at Coast Guard Stations Holland, St. Joseph and Grand Haven until it was transferred to Michigan City in 1999.
My thanks go to The Holland Sentinel, for allowing me to use this material.
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