Coast Guard cutters support Irma relief efforts off Florida coast and Keys

A deployed Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter takes off from the Coast Guard Cutter Forward off the coast of Florida, Sept. 12, 2017. The crew of the Forward delivered 65 cases of water and 750 pounds of food, blankets and hygiene items to Marathon airport for humanitarian relief. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

A deployed Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter takes off from the Coast Guard Cutter Forward off the coast of Florida, Sept. 12, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

MIAMI — Coast Guard crews patrolled the Florida Straits and Caribbean Sea Wednesday following the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Prior to Hurricane Irma making landfall in southern Florida, Coast Guard surface assets were moved out of the path of the storm and awaited its passing prior to return to sea to continue patrols.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Forward completed four flight sorties to assess damage from Marathon, Fla., and delivered 35 cases of water and 750 pounds of food, blankets and hygiene items to Marathon airport for humanitarian relief. The crew also established communications with other government agencies and passed over 550 national command center welfare checks to FEMA’s urban task force and local emergency services for assistance.

“Our cutter crews have been working around the clock and their presence will increase our search-and-rescue capabilities and command and control presence off the Florida Keys,” said Capt. Jason Ryan, Chief of Enforcement for the Coast Guard’s Seventh District. “Our highly capable patrol cutters bring a unique mobility and nimble response to the multi missions they will be tasked within the coming days.”

For imagery and video of the Hurricane Irma response, please visit our Flicker page.

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