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USCGC Gentian (WLB-290)
USCGC Gentian breaks ice on the Potomac River
Gentian breaks ice on the Potomac River.
Career (United States) Flag of the United States.svg Ensign of the United States Coast Guard.svg
Name: USCGC Gentian (WLB-290)
Owner: United States Coast Guard
Builder: Zenith Dredge Company[1]
Laid down: 3 October 1941
Launched: 23 May 1942
Commissioned: 3 November 1942 – 2 September 1976
1983 – May 1988
September 1999 – 23 June 2006
Reclassified: WIX-290 September 1999
Fate: Transferred to the Colombian Navy on 15 October 2007
Career (Colombia) Flag of Colombia.svg
Name: ARC San Andrés (PO-45)
Owner: Colombian Coast Guard
Acquired: 15 October 2007
Status: Active
General characteristics
Class & type: 180-A
Displacement: 935 fl (1945)
1,026 fl (1966)
700 light (1966)
Length: 180 ft (55 m) LOA
170 ft (52 m) between perpendiculars
Beam: 37 ft 1 in (11.30 m)
Draft: 12 ft (3.7 m)
14 ft 7 in (4.45 m) max
Installed power: 2 × Westinghouse generators
2 × Cooper-Bessemer-type GND-8, 4-cycle diesel engines
Propulsion: 1 × electric motor; single screw; 1,000 shp (750 kW)
Speed: 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) sustained
11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) economic
Range: 12,000 mi (19,000 km) at 8.3 knots (15.4 km/h; 9.6 mph)
17,000 miles (27,000 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 6 officers, 74 enlisted (1945)
3 officers, 2 warrants, 42 enlisted (1962)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radar: BK (1943) SL (1945); SPS-23 (1966)
Sonar: WEA-2 (1945); UNQ-1 (1966)
Armament: 1945:
1 × 3"/50 (single)
2 × 20mm/80 (single)
2 depth charge tracks
2 Mousetraps
4 × Y-guns (1945)
1966: None

USCGC Gentian (WLB-290), a Cactus- or A-class buoy tender was built by Zenith Dredge of Duluth, Minnesota. Her keel was laid 3 October 1941, launched 23 May 1942, and commissioned 3 November 1942.


From December 1942 to January 1944 Gentian was stationed in New York. On 3 February 1944 Gentian was reassigned to Cape May, New Jersey and was used for maintaining navigational aids, search and rescue operations, annual ice breaking on the Hudson River, numerous tows of Coast Guard vessels to the Coast Guard Yard at Curtis Bay, Maryland and law enforcement. On 3 July 1948 she evacuated 42 persons from the disabled Swedish motor vessel Dagmar Salen, 20 miles (32 km) from the Overfalls lightship and extinguished an out-of-control engine room fire on the ship.

On 26–28 May 1952 assisted following a collision between tanker Michael and motor barge A.C. Dodge in the Delaware River, on 18–21 December 1954 assisted following a collision between tanker Atlantic Capetown and the motor vessel Maya, and on 29 June 1953 assisted following a collision between motor vessels Gulftrader and Sol de Panama 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Barnegat Lightship.

On 1 October 1956 Gentian was transferred to Miami, Florida. On 29–30 September 1959 she assisted in the hurricane Gracie evacuation of the coastal areas of Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia and on 12–20 March 1960 participated in Operation Big Slam for drug interdiction.

On 15 July 1960 Gentian was transferred to Galveston, Texas. On 9 November 1961 while pursuing the FV Islander thought to be a drug smuggler, Islander turned and rammed Gentian trying to sink her. Islander sank while Gentian only sustained superficial damage and arrested Islander's crew. On 2 September 1976 Gentian was decommissioned and stored at the Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, Md.

In the early 1980s Gentian had major renovations to machinery, living spaces and superstructure under the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP). New main General Motors diesels were installed, new generators, propulsion systems, central fluid power system, new vang supported boom system (eliminating the distinctive Cactus-class A-frame boom support), marine sanitation system, navigational electronics, and more. On 27 July 1983 the mostly brand new Gentian was assigned to Coast Guard Group Fort Macon, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. On 27 November 1984 she seized vessel Princess and 17.5 tons of marijuana, and in September 1989 assisted in the Hurricane Hugo evacuation of the coastal areas of Charleston, South Carolina.

In May 1998 Gentian's service as a black-hull buoy tender ended. She was temporarily decommissioned, repainted white and refurbished to facilitate longer periods of time at sea. Then in September 1999 she was recommissioned as WIX-290, and assigned to Miami, Florida where she trained sailors from all over the world. She was known as a Caribbean Support Tender and spent a great deal of time in the Caribbean. Gentian's final decommissioning came on 23 June 2006.

On 15 October 2007, she was transferred to Colombia and serves as ARC San Andrés (PO-45).


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