(Steam launch dp. 35; 1.61'6"; b.11'3"; dr. 5'2"; dph. 5'; s. 7 k.)
The wooden-hulled steam launch Lucy F., built in 1896 at Middletown, Conn., was acquired by the United States Revenue Cutter Service (later incorporated into the Coast Guard) in November 1900. After refitting at the James Reilly Repair and Supply Co., the craft, renamed Alert by 7 January 1901, arrived at New Orleans on 14 June 1901. Three days later, she headed for Mobile, Ala., where she arrived on the 20th. The launch operated out of Mobile during the next four years before spending three months on quarantine duties out of Gulfport, Miss. (12 August to 23 October 1905). Soon thereafter, she resumed her regular duties out of Mobile.
With the coming of war in Europe in August 1914, Alert began boarding duty in Mississippi Sound, enforcing the navigation laws. Occasionally, she interrupted her discharge of these duties to carry out special assignments. In March 1915, she took a committee from the Alabama legislature on a cruise to examine oyster beds; and, the following August, carried members of the Alabama National Guard to the target range on Mobile Bay.
Transferred temporarily to the Navy on 6 April 1917 with the American entry into World War I, Alert operated under naval control for the duration of hostilities and into the following summer. Returned to the Treasury Department on 28 August 1919 (her name being stricken from the Naval Vessel Register simultaneously), Alert was subsequently sold to the Mobile Gulf and Navigation Co., Mobile, Ala., on 21 August 1920.