Mexican vessels depart U.S. ports as weather calms and Hurricane Ingrid passes

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BROWNSVILLE, Texas — The Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department personnel are escorting 179 Mexican shrimping vessels out of the Port of Brownsville and Port Isabel Tuesday after the fleet was provided safe harbor to escape threatening weather conditions in Mexican waters.

The multiple agencies and port authorities responded to the requests from Mexican shrimping vessels seeking safe harbor Saturday and Sunday in efforts to preserve the safety of life at sea.

Law enforcement crews conduct crew accountability boardings as they escort Mexican shrimping vessels out of Port Isabel and the Port of Brownsville after their safe harbor from Hurricane Ingrid, Sept. 17, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen B. Lehmann.

Law enforcement crews conduct crew accountability boardings as they escort Mexican shrimping vessels out of Port Isabel and the Port of Brownsville Sept. 17, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen B. Lehmann.

“We safely and successfully provided safe harbor to 179 Mexican shrimping vessels. Now that the weather has calmed down, we’re faced with the equally challenging task of escorting these vessels out of the port,” said Cmdr. Daniel Deptula, the response officer for Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi. “We will continue working closely with our partners to ensure a safe and efficient transit out to sea.”

In response to Hurricane Ingrid, the Coast Guard mobilized personnel from Coast Guard Station South Padre Island, the Galveston based Maritime Safety and Security Team, as well as Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi crews aboard MH-65 Dolphin helicopters and HU-25 Falcon jets.

Hurricane Ingrid produced winds in excess of 85 mph and caused high sea states and large swells as it made landfall in Mexico. As Ingrid moves further inland and seas begin to calm down, the Coast Guard is implementing an Incident Action Plan aimed at safely escorting the vessels out of the ports. The Coast Guard anticipates the Mexican vessels will continue transiting out through Wednesday.

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