Cutter Diligence crew to return from 51-day patrol

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence are scheduled to return home to Wilmington from a law enforcement patrol throughout the Caribbean Sea and Yucatan Basin today.

The ship departed its homeport for its 51-day patrol concentrating on counter-drug and illegal migrant interdiction operations July 24.

During the patrol, the Diligence crew participated in a international communications test with the crew of the USS Kauffman, a guided-missile frigate.

Additionally, the crew conducted operations with one HH-65C and two MH-65C Dolphin helicopters from Coast Guard air stations New Orleans, Miami and Borinquen, Puerto Rico. They also conducted operations with boat crews from Coast Guard Station Islamorada, Fla.

Helicopter operations included more than 200 launches, recoveries, and vertical replenishments, while Station Islamorada interceptors practiced non-compliant vessel interdiction maneuvers with the Diligence crew.

With only a week left in the patrol, the crew of the Diligence came upon two suspicious go-fast vessels.

“After I spotted them, the adrenaline started moving right away, and it didn’t settle down for hours,” said Seaman Apprentice Troyton Loggins, The lookout who reported them.

The Diligence launched a boarding team aboard the ship’s small boat to investigate. A pursuit lasting longer than four hours and covering more than 100 miles ensued, disrupting a possible smuggling operation.

“Having completed my first deployment in Diligence, I know that I have been truly blessed and given the opportunity with the right crew at the right time to carry forward the Diligence tradition and proudly represent the Coast Guard City of Wilmington, North Carolina,” said Cmdr. Harry Schmidt, commanding officer of the cutter.

The Diligence is a 210-foot Reliance class cutter with a crew complement of 12 officers and 71 enlisted members.

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