USCGC Bluebell (WLI 313)



The cutter Bluebell is an inland buoy tender built by the Birchfield Boiler Co. in Tacoma, Wash., and was commissioned April 4, 1945. The crew services more than 339 aids covering 500 river miles on three major rivers beginning at the mouth of the Columbia River on the Oregon/Washington border. More than 300 miles up the Columbia River in Kennewick, Wash., lies the Snake River, which the crew covers all the way to Lewiston, Idaho. The last of the three rivers is the Willamette, which meets the Columbia near Portland, Ore., and has 35 miles of Bluebell maintained aids. When traveling from Portland, Ore., to Lewiston, Idaho, the Bluebell must pass through eight individual navigational locks in order to maintain buoys and Aids to Navigation structures. The Bluebell is responsible for 19 percent of the entire 13th District’s aids and buoys. The crew endeavors to do its job quietly and with minimal disruption to the mariner.


Servicing aids and buoys, law enforcement, search and rescue, marine environmental response, recreational boating safety enforcement, domestic icebreaking, public affairs, and military readiness.