Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous returns home from 63-day patrol

Mid Atlantic Coast Guard NewsATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The crew of the Cape May-based, 210-foot Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous returned home Aug. 2 from a 63-day counter narcotics and migrant interdiction patrol of the Caribbean Sea.

Prior to arriving in the Caribbean, the Vigorous crew provided security and represented the Coast Guard during the Parade of Ships in Norfolk, Va., commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. It later responded to a distress call off the coast of North Carolina from a recreational dive boat and rescued two divers separated from their boat.

Upon arriving in the Coast Guard’s 7th District, the Vigorous crew was first assigned to the Florida Straits to conduct migrant interdiction patrols, then later conducted a counter narcotics patrol off the southern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Upon its departure from Puerto Rico, the Vigorous crew’s mission was to patrol off the coast of Haiti in the Windward Passage. The Vigorous crew patrolled in search for migrants departing Haiti bound for the Bahamas and ultimately the United States.

This patrol highlights the Coast Guard’s offshore presence and its versatility in rapidly redeploying where needed to counter multiple threats. Medium endurance cutters like the Vigorous are built for multi-week offshore patrols including operations requiring enhanced communications, and helicopter and pursuit boat operations, which provide a key capability for homeland security missions at sea.

The 43-year-old Vigorous and the other medium endurance cutters are slated for replacement by an Offshore Patrol Cutter. The new OPCs will operate more than 50 miles from land, carrying out the Coast Guard’s maritime security and safety activities in support of national interests. The OPC will be an economical, multi-mission ship, providing pursuit boat and helicopter capabilities and interoperability with other military and federal partners, superior to the cutters they replace. Equipped with modern sensors, the OPC will provide the enhanced surveillance necessary to detect threats far from U.S. shores and meet the demands of the Coast Guard’s homeland security, search and rescue, law enforcement and other vital missions.

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