Coast Guard Cutter Confidence Returns to Cape Canaveral

 CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The Coast Guard Cutter Confidence returned to Cape Canaveral this morning following a 46-day patrol of the Florida Straits and Gulf of Mexico in support of Coast Guard District Seven’s migrant interdiction.

Confidence interdicted three home-made vessels carrying a total of 66 Cuban migrants and served as the tactical commander of several other assets, which interdicted additional migrant vessels.

Confidence’s crew chased a “go-fast” for five hours along with the Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin, additional Coast Guard small boats, and several Coast Guard and Customs and Border Patrol aircraft. A Confidence boarding team on their over-the-horizon boat finally ended the chase and interdicted 30 Cuban migrants and detained three suspected smugglers.

Midway through the patrol, Confidence interdicted four Cuban migrants aboard an eight-foot-home-made raft that had been at sea for four days and had run out of water after two days at sea. These migrants were brought aboard late at night and cared for by Confidence’s crew for several days before they were transferred to another cutter and repatriated back to Cuba.

Confidence also processed a total of 177 illegal migrants during this patrol, while remaining busy in other crucial mission areas. The crew conducted nearly 250-flight operations with four embarked aviation detachments, conducted astern refueling on two occasions for the Coast Guard Cutter Bonito, and conducted 15 law enforcement boardings in the Florida Straits and Gulf of Mexico.

“I am extremely proud of my crew for the outstanding job they did this patrol not only in interdicting and rescuing 96 Cuban migrants from the dangerous waters of the Florida Straits and the Gulf of Mexico, and professionally and compassionately providing humanitarian aid and medical assistance to these same migrants around the clock for days on end in extremely hot conditions,” said Cmdr. Cameron Naron, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Confidence.

Confidence’s crew also conducted several days of helicopter operations with a Coast Guard HH-65C helicopter. The helicopter searched for potential law-enforcement targets of interest and provided critical shipboard-helicopter training for both the pilots and the cutter’s crew.

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