Coast Guard cutter Midgett returns from patrol

SEATTLE – The 378-foot Coast Guard cutter Midgett, based here, returns home today after a three-month patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

One of the major objectives for this patrol was for the Midgett crew to intercept “go-fast” drug smuggling vessels, which carry illegal narcotics ultimately destined for the United States or provide fuel and logistics for other smuggling vessels.

The Midgett crew intercepted four go-fast vessels this patrol, including one late-night intercept that Midgett’s commanding officer, Capt. Lance Bardo, referred to as, “one in a million, literally.” From this one vessel, the crew recovered 27 bales of cocaine, a total weight of 1,350 pounds, worth approximately $18 million.

During the patrol, the crew conducted eight law enforcement boardings, one of which involved a small fishing vessel with 98 migrants embarked. At the time of the boarding, the vessel was severely overcrowded and was taking on water. Midgett crewmembers brought all 98 of the migrants on board the cutter, and transferred them safely to their nation’s Coast Guard.

Over the course of the patrol, the crew traveled more than 17,000 miles. Beginning in Seattle, the ship steamed as far south as the equator, stopping for port calls in Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and San Diego.

During their port call in Mexico, crewmembers participated in a volunteer humanitarian project. A nearby orphanage did not have the funds necessary to clear up the play yard for the children there, so crewmembers spent one of their port call days clearing brush, picking up trash, and removing hazards from the playground.

The Coast Guard cutter Midgett is typically deployed for 90-day patrols. The cutter’s primary missions are enforcement of laws and treaties, search and rescue and homeland security.

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