Less than three months after receiving a new commander, Crescent City’s Coast Guard cutter is once again under new leadership.
Lt. j.g. Kenneth Franklin aboard the Coast Guard cutter Dorado. Del Norte Triplicate/ Bryant Anderson
Lt. j.g. Kenneth Franklin took over as interim commanding officer of the cutter Dorado in mid- August, relieving Lt. j.g. Caitlin Cunningham, who started the position in May.
Cunningham had to leave the position early for personal reasons, Coast Guard officials said.
After two years as the commander of the cutter Dolphin in Miami, which has the same platform as Dorado, Franklin is familiar with the operations of an 87-foot coastal patrol boat.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Franklin said about the new position on the North Coast. “It is different, but at the end of the day it’s the same uniform, same mission and same values of the Coast Guard.”
Franklin was last stationed in the District 11 command center in San Francisco, working as a law enforcement duty officer for a few weeks. When the commander position of the Dorado became vacant, he was asked to fill the role due to previous experience and was eager to do so.
“Compared to Miami and San Francisco, there are definitely limited resources in this area so you can really feel the impact that the unit has here,” Franklin said. “ I look forward to the specific challenges in this area whether it’s extreme weather, a different fishing fleet or the geographical vastness of this area.”
Franklin grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., where he enjoyed spending time on Lake Erie. He attended the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., for an opportunity to serve and receive a fine education.
Aside from serving as commanding officer on the cutter Dolphin in Miami, he also spent time on the 210-foot cutter Resolute out of St. Petersburg, Fla.
While Franklin has been commanding officer, the cutter Dorado has already gone under way for three rescue operations, two of which were consecutively accomplished on the same day.
Franklin would like to remind commercial and recreational fishermen of the importance of marine safety, including the easy points like having one life jacket on board for every person.
Recently, the Coast Guard has found many fishermen carrying expired flares, which have a shelf life of roughly three years, making the vessels technically out of compliance. Replacing old flares and stocking life jackets keeps everyone safe, and isn’t hard to do, Franklin said.
“This cutter and this crew continue to do good things in this area,” he said.