Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast

The Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast at its homeport in Astoria.

Vessel: Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast, WMEC 623

Length: 210 feet and 6 inches

Beam: 34 feet

Navigational draft: 18 feet

Displacement: 1,127 tons

Speed, maximum sustained: 18 knots

Stopping distance from 18 knots: 220 yards, 44 seconds

Shaft horsepower: 5,000 horsepower

Fuel capacity:

Diesel: 50,913 gallons

JP-5 (Aviation Fuel): 4,929 gallons

Water: 11,694 gal

Main propulsion: Twin Screw, Controllable Pitch Propeller

Engines: 2 ALCO 16 Cylinder Turbocharged Diesel

Propellers: 2 four blade controllable pitch. 7’6” diameter

Armament: One mounted 25mm gun and two .50 caliber machine guns

Aircraft capability: HH-65A Dolphin helicopter

Personnel allowance:

Commissioned officers — 11

Commissioned warrant officers — 1

Chief Petty officers — 6

Enlisted — 59

Total on board — 77

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The Steadfast has been in service since 1968. Here, it motors past Cape Disappointment.


The Steadfast has served in the U.S. Coast Guard for over five decades. Steadfast was homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida for her first 24 years of service starting in 1968. The Steadfast was decommissioned in 1992 for major maintenance availability to extend its service another 25 years. In February 1994, Steadfast was recommissioned and homeported in Astoria.

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Caribbean drug smugglers in the 1970s named the Steadfast “El Tiburon Blanco,” Spanish for “The White Shark,” for intercepting their drug operations. The symbol of “El Tiburon Blanco” continues to be one of the Steadfast's logos today. The Steadfast was the first, and is one of only two cutters, awarded the gold marijuana leaf, symbolizing one million pounds of marijuana seized.

• Throughout its career, the Steadfast has completed over 340 search and rescue cases, interdicted more than 1.6 million pounds of marijuana and 169,000 pounds of cocaine, seized over 90 vessels, and stopped more than 3,500 undocumented migrants from entering the U.S.

• Steadfast was the first, and is one of two cutters, awarded the gold marijuana leaf for having seized one million pounds of marijuana.

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The Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast crew members participate in a drill at sunset.

• Caribbean drug smugglers in the 1970’s named the Steadfast “El Tiburon Blanco” (Spanish for “The White Shark”) because it intercepted their drug operations. The crew continues to use the symbol of “El Tiburon Blanco” as one of their logos.

• Steadfast is a multi-mission platform and is under the operational command of the Coast Guard Pacific Area Commander.

• Steadfast works in Coast Guard districts 11 and 13 as well as Joint Inter-Agency Task Force South (JIATF-S).

• The Steadfast patrols along the western seaboard of the U.S., Mexico and North and Central America conducting search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, living marine resource protection and homeland defense operations.

• Over its 52 years, the ship has been awarded the Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbons for Campaign Caper Focus and for Operation Martillo, eight Coast Guard Excellence Ribbons, five Coast Guard Unit Commendation Awards, and four Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendations. In July 2019, Steadfast broke the record for the most cocaine seized during a single deployment for cutters of its class and size.


The Steadfast has completed over 340 search and rescue cases as of December.

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