BOSTON — The Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma returned to its homeport in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Saturday following a 50-day patrol in The Straits of Florida.
A primary mission during the patrol was to ensure the safety of all life at sea through the interdiction of overloaded, unsafe and unseaworthy migrant-made vessels, as well as offer humanitarian care to hundreds of migrants who were attempting to enter the United States illegally.
Tahoma’s crew interdicted four different migrant vessels which resulted in saving 53 lives. The humanitarian efforts of Tahoma’s crew enabled the safe repatriation of more than 310 migrants in just three weeks time.
During the patrol, Tahoma’s crew also underwent a three-week, all-hands training assessment in Mayport, Florida, known as Tailored Ship’s Training Availability that prepares the ship and crew for emergency situations through a wide range of drills, exercises, and operational scenarios.
“This was a special patrol for many reasons,” said Cmdr. Willie L. Carmichael, Tahoma’s commanding officer. “We dedicated time for training and readiness and it was showcased through our ability to execute operations during a very dynamic patrol.”
The Tahoma is homeported at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and has a crew of 14 officers and 86 enlisted who conduct maritime law enforcement, homeland security, and search and rescue missions in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere. Tahoma received a commission into active Coast Guard service April 6, 1988.