Coast Guard Cutter Legare returns to Portsmouth after patrol between Cuba, Hispaniola

A boat crew for the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare gets underway between Cuba and Hispaniola during drug interdiction operations in April, 2017. The cutter Legare's crew completed a 35-day tour of the strait between Cuba and Hispaniola, completing drug interdiction missions, building partnerships with local agencies and aiding local communities. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Legare)

A boat crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare gets underway between Cuba and Hispaniola during drug interdiction operations in April, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Legare)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare returned to their homeport Thursday after a 35-day patrol in the Windward Passage, a strait between Cuba and Hispaniola.

The cutter Legare, a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia, supported the Coast Guard’s drug and migrant interdiction mission and other Coast Guard missions in the Windward Passage.

Early in the patrol Legare provided assistance to 11 people aboard a disabled skiff near Isle de la Tortue. A few days later, Legare’s crew spotted an overloaded sailing vessel attempting to depart Haiti. Through the assistance of a Creole interpreter, Legare’s crew intercepted and escorted the vessel back to port.

During a port visit to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, the crew of Legare visited with disabled children at the Casa Nazaret orphanage. Legare crewmembers raised over $500 for Casa Nazaret and helped fix wheelchairs, air conditioning units and other miscellaneous items for the orphans.

The cutter Legare’s crew made a port visit to Kingston, Jamaica as the first Coast Guard cutter to visit the city in over two years. Legare hosted tours for students from the Caribbean Maritime Academy located in Kingston and conducted an exchange with the Jamaican Defense Force Coast Guard. The crew also hosted a reception for various foreign ambassadors and Jamaican dignitaries.

Legare also hosted multiple officials from the U.S. Embassy in Port au Prince, Haiti, to introduce them to Coast Guard missions and Haitian migration trends. The U.S. Embassy team observed small boat and flight operations, and travelled with Legare Law Enforcement members to speak with Haitians living in the remote Isle de la Tortue.

The Coast Guard’s fleet of Medium Endurance Cutters is set to be replaced by the new Offshore Patrol Cutters, with the first being unveiled in 2019.

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