Cutter Confidence returns home from one-month deployment

CAPE CANVERAL, Fla. – The crew of 210-foot Coast Guard Cutter Confidence will return to its homeport at Station Cape Canaveral Sunday at 8 a.m., following a 28-day deployment to the Florida Straits, in which they conducted law enforcement and migrant interdiction operations.

The patrol included the safe and successful repatriation of 52 Cuban migrants. Also, a helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Ga., deployed with the crew of the Confidence and completed about 35 helicopter over flight missions.

The highlight of the patrol was the rescue of four mariners who were aboard the Tug Barbara when it sank in the vicinity of Cay Sal Bank, Southeast of Key West. The Coast Guard was notified via a distress signal from the tug’s electronic position indicating radio beacon at the time of its sinking. A tug boat in the vicinity was able to rescue all four men until Coast Guard crews arrived on scene. The mariners aboard the Tug Barbara survived and were transported ashore to Marathon, Fla, with the exception of one who sustained a broken leg.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Ernest Callahan, a health services technician, and Petty Officer 1st Class Bart Bicknell, were able to diagnose the extent of the crewmember’s injury and constructed a splint to stabilize his leg. Due to the poor sea conditions the rescue helicopter crew conducted a basket hoist and safely transported the mariner to Fisherman’s Hospital in Marathon, Fla.

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