Coast Guard cutter heading to Philippines

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — In a ceremony full of maritime pomp, a decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard cutter based in Charleston has been turned over to the Philippine Navy.

About 100 military personnel and visitors gathered on a wind-swept pier at the old Charleston Navy base on Tuesday as the cutter Dallas was transferred.

American crewmen left the cutter as the U.S. flag was lowered. After the transfer papers were signed, personnel from the Philippine Navy boarded the vessel and raised their national flag.

The 378-foot cutter Dallas has patrolled off the Vietnam coast and in the Pacific to the Mediterranean during the 45 years since it was commissioned in 1967. It also was the command vessel for the Mariel Boat lift in 1980 in which 125,000 Cuban refugees set sail for Florida.

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