After BMCM Paul Debold's retirement ceremony at the Gator Den, we discovered this old beauty (lots of beer makes things beautiful). The cutter's captain is CDR Eduardo Pino (Captain selectee) and he and I used to work together at Miami International Airport in the late 70's and early 80's. I suggested in the early 80's that he apply for Coast Guard OCS, and hopefully be selected for flight school after that, after he obtained his bachelor's degree at Barry University because the airlines weren't hiring a lot of pilots at the time. He applied, was selected for OCS and graduated but didn't get flight school due to a minor vision imperfection and I thought he would kill me after being assigned to a 210' cutter out of Miami Beach. However, he has evidently enjoyed flying these cutters all over the Caribbean, Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific.
The GENTIAN was decommissioned at 1800 on June 23, 2006, at Causeway Island, Miami Beach. Go to http://www.pbase.com/airlinerphotos/uscgc_gentian to view photos from the decommissioning ceremony.