BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – Friday could be the biggest day in the history of the Eastern Shipbuilding Group.

That’s launch day for the “Argus,” the first of four new-generation offshore patrol cutters Eastern is building for the U.S. Coast Guard. The 360-foot ship will allow the Coast Guard to undertake missions that are currently not possible.

They’re equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as MMR Athena Radar. Argus and its 3 sister cutters are being built at Eastern Shipbuilding’s Nelson Shipyard in Panama City. The work was delayed by Hurricane Michael and the Covid pandemic. Workers have endured the setbacks and have built an impressive ship.

“These vessels are being built with a level of pride that you can’t measure, and that only happens when you have a motivated workforce that carries that level of pride, to begin with, and on top of that, having come through the challenges that we have faced,” said Eastern Shipbuilding Group CEO Joey Disernia.

The launch will take place Friday afternoon. The Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Linda Fagan, will be there for the launch as well as tomorrow’s ceremony proclaiming Bay County as a Coast Guard Community.