Coast Guard Cutter Tampa returns home after busy patrol

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa returned to Portsmouth Tuesday following a busy 62-day patrol to the Caribbean.

Tampa’s patrol began with assisting two adults and three small children in distress aboard a sailboat. The sailboat had a torn sail and engine trouble, Tampa’s rescue-and-assistance team successfully repaired the boat and insured it was seaworthy before sending them on their way.

Soon after, Tampa interdicted a go-fast off the coast of Honduras. An HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew based at Air Station Kodiak, Alaska, sighted the go-fast. When the go-fast refused to stop, a Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) crew from Jacksonville, Fla., used warning shots and disabling fire on the outboard engines to stop them. Honduran officials recovered approximately 112 pounds of cocaine from the vessel.

On Christmas Day, the crew commenced a three-day joint boarding of a coastal freighter suspected of smuggling drugs. Tampa’s boarding team worked alongside the Honduran navy and discovered a hidden compartment onboard the vessel, confirming smuggling methods and providing significant intelligence to operational commanders.

Tampa is one of six 270-foot Coast Guard cutters homeported in Portsmouth.

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