Coast Guard Cutter Tampa returns home following 25-day Caribbean patrol

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tampa returned home Tuesday following an eventful 25-day Caribbean Sea Patrol.

The Tampa crew began their patrol by interdicting a “go-fast” vessel headed toward the U.S. Tampa boarding team members intercepted and boarded the vessel, and detained the two crewmembers aboard suspected of migrant smuggling.

Tampa crewmembers participated in two humanitarian relief missions, delivering nearly 26,000 pounds of relief supplies to the people of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, following the tropical storms and hurricanes that severely flooded portions of the island. Supplies which included food, water, bed linens, mattresses, clothing, and hygiene items were donated by Kids Against Hunger and Food for the Poor, Inc.

In addition to the relief mission, the Tampa crew rescued and repatriated 142 Haitian migrants. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater, Fla., deployed to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, in support of Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos spotted an overloaded 50-foot sail freighter about 12 miles north of Île de la Tortue, Haiti. The Tampa crew rescued and safely embarked the migrants without incident.

The crew also held a special wreath laying ceremony to honor the 90th anniversary of the sinking of the original Revenue Service Cutter Tampa. On Sept. 26, 1918, during World War I the Tampa crew was escorting convoy HG-107 from Gibraltar to Milford Haven, Wales. While transiting the Bristol Channel it crossed the sights of a German U-boat. The U-boat made a submerged attack with a single torpedo which sank the Tampa, killing all 131 hands aboard.

The Tampa is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va.

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