Update: Reefing the USCG Cutter Tamaroa, ex-USS Zuni

Last October, we posted that the USCG Cutter Tamaroa, ex-USS Zuni, was to be reefed by the end of the month. The 205-foot ex-fleet ocean/salvage tug and ex-Coast Guard Cutter was to be sunk as part of an artificial reef about 26 miles off Cape May, NJ.  Sinking the ship on October 30th was to coincide with the the 25th anniversary of the “Perfect Storm” of 1991. The sinking was delayed, however, awaiting test results to document that the 73 year old ship was free of cancer-causing PCBs. The tests took took longer than had been originally anticipated. Now, the storied ship will will finally be sent to the bottom next Tuesday, weather permitting. 

Tamaroa may be best known for rescuing the crew of the yacht Satori, as well as the crew of a downed Air National Guard helicopter during the “Perfect Storm”, as described in Sebastian Junger’s book of the same name. 

In addition to service during the “Perfect Storm,” Tamaroa was also the first Coast Guard Cutter to arrive at the sinking passenger liner Andrea Doria after the collision with the the Swedish liner Stockholm 1956.  In total, the ship served as a Coast Guard Cutter for 48 years. Before her Coast Guard career, the ship was the USS Zuni. Built in 1943, the 205-foot fleet ocean/salvage tug was one of seventy Cherokee-class fleet tugs which saw service in World War II in campaigns in the Marianas, the Philippines, and at Iwo Jima.

Perfect Storm Rescues: S/V SATORI

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5 Responses to Update: Reefing the USCG Cutter Tamaroa, ex-USS Zuni

  1. Ginny says:

    When the photo and narrative was originally printed I remembered thinking that hull would make a gorgeous yacht for someone. What a beautiful shape. And what a story her history would make. Now we’ve got naval vessels such as the ZUMWALT.

  2. Jan Christensen says:

    A proud ship, and she’ll carry that pride forward in her new deployment.

  3. dennis beebe says:

    Ginny, agreed! a gorgeous ship.

  4. Jim Meister says:

    Served on her for a couple of years as a radioman. She does have a pretty hull but, man, could she roll. Huge fuel tanks that we never could afford to fill. Some idiot figured out that concrete in the fuel tanks as ballast would help. It didn’t but it did rot her hull.

  5. GEORGE ELDI says:

    I served on her for two years between 1958-1960 as an Engineman. I got to know every nook and cranny in the hull. I ended my tour as the deck engineer taking care of the two powered whale boats and all of the support pieces of equipment. Really was a highlight of my service as a Coast Guardsman. A few years ago my wife and I attended a reunion aboard the Tam, while she was being worked on, in Postsmouth Virginia. At the reunion I met up with two former crew members I served with while on the Tam. Was a great time seeing them. Hope they are still well. May the Tam rest in piece.