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Swift Boat’s cruise from San Diego to Santa Barbara to include stops for tours

Maritime Museum of San Diego
Swift Boat PCF-816 was used as a training vessel at a naval base in California.
(Maritime Museum of San Diego)

A Vietnam War-era Swift Boat with a home port in San Diego will take a cruise up the Southern California coast this summer and stop along the way for visitors to tour.

The captain and crew made up of Vietnam War veterans will sail the 50-foot-long boat as far north as Santa Barbara, according to a statement from the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Swift Boats were used during the war to patrol the coast and block enemy operations on waterways in what was then South Vietnam.

The San Diego-based boat, Swift Boat PCF-816, is scheduled to leave the museum at 9 a.m. on June 13 and make nine stops including the Los Angeles Maritime Museum (June 18-22), the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (June 27-30) and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach (July 2-5).

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Swift boat PCF-816 on the water.
Swift boat PCF-816 on the water.
(Pim Van Hemmen / Maritime Museum of San Diego )

The boat never saw action in Vietnam; it was used as a training vessel at the Navy base in Coronado, Calif.

The boat was retired in 1971 and donated to Malta, which, at the end of its service there, gave it to the Swift Boat Sailors Assn. in 2012.

The boat has been restored and put on display at the San Diego museum. When the boat is at the museum, visitors can go aboard and take a 75-minute tour around San Diego Bay for $10.

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Info: Maritime Museum of San Diego, (619) 234-9153, Ext. 101 

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