Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba CO Temporarily Reassigned

Portsmouth, Va. – Vice Adm. D. Brian Peterman, commander of the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Area, today temporarily reassigned the commanding officer of a Boston-based cutter following an off-duty incident during a port call in Key West, Fla., Tuesday.

Cmdr. Michael S. Sabellico, commanding officer of the 270-foot medium endurance cutter Escanaba, has been temporarily reassigned to the Coast Guard First District staff in Boston pending the results of an administrative investigation.

Sabellico was arrested by Key West police around 1:15 a.m. Tuesday, on suspicion of simple battery, and released later that day. The cutter, which had previously been on patrol in the Caribbean, was making a final port call before returning to its homeport of Boston.

Cmdr. Chris Austin, currently the commanding officer of the Portsmouth, Va.-based Coast Guard cutter Northland, has assumed temporary command of Escanaba to return the ship to Boston.

The Coast Guard cutter Escanaba is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter based out of Boston. A multi-mission platform, it enforces federal and international fishing regulations in the waters off New England, and conducting illegal migration and drug interdiction patrols in the Caribbean and carries out search and rescue and homeland security missions.

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