Protecting Mariners in Winter Storms

Protecting mariners in winter storms, the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable sails home
CAPE MAY, N.J.- The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Dependable is scheduled to return to their home- port in Cape May at 7:10 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 22 following a 51-day deployment in the north Atlantic.

The Dependable’s patrol was in support of homeland security, law enforcement, living marine resource preservation, and search and rescue operations. The ship even carried out an assignment usually reserved for Coast Guard buoy tenders when it discovered the Nantucket Shoals buoy 23 miles off station following Hurricane Noel. The cutter towed the buoy, worth approximately $60,000, back to shore.

The cutter also conducted 47 fishing vessel boardings, checking compliance with commercial fishing regulations and mandatory safety equipment. As a result of these boardings, two fishing vessels were caught setting traps for lobsters in a restricted gear area. The cutter’s crew was also involved in homeland security missions off the coast of New York City. They boarded and inspected several large merchant ships prior to entry into New York harbor.

During a winter period plagued by storms, the crew responded to four search and rescue cases. On Nov. 20 the Grand Knight, a 145-foot Canadian fishing vessel, became disabled 265 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass. The vessel was sailing to Panama when it suffered a generator malfunction, rendering the vessel disabled and adrift in heavy seas. The Dependable’s crew spent Thanksgiving towing the vessel toward shore. Eight days later, the crew responded to the aid of a 350-foot damaged cargo vessel, RSCL Express. Loaded with 4,300 tons of wood pulp and located 300 miles south of Boston, the Express was taking on water from two 15 centimeter holes approximately 10 feet above the waterline due to damage caused by the anchor in rough seas. Crew-members from the Dependable boarded the foreign-flagged cargo ship to confirm that the vessel was safe to transit. After assessing the damage, the crew escorted the Express into Boston Harbor as a security measure since the foreign vessel’s stop in Boston was unscheduled.

On Dec. 12 in yet another storm, the fishing vessel Moragh K became disabled 80 miles east of Cape Cod when a fishing net became fouled in the vessel’s propeller. The crew of Dependable took the fishing boat in tow during high winds and towed the vessel in a snowstorm to Cape Cod Bay.

“This was a very productive patrol that enabled us to serve the American public in a wide variety of missions. I’m proud of the way the crew responded to every challenge, despite frequent bad weather. We’re very happy to be home in time for Christmas with our families,” said Commander Laura M. Dickey, the ship’s commanding officer.
Media are invited to attend the cutter’s homecoming and interview the crew and their families. The cutter is due to arrive at 7:10 p.m. on Saturday. In order to gain access to the pier at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, media interested in attending must notify Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher D. McLaughlin at 757-636-5899.

The Cutter Dependable is a 210-foot medium endurance Cutter based out of Cape May, N.J.

TLANTIC OCEAN - Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable prepare to board the fishing boat Moragh K Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007, 80 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass. The fishing vessel Moragh K became disabled when a fishing net became fouled in the vessel’s propeller and the crew of the Dependable took the fishing boat in tow to Cape Cod Bay. Coast Guard photograph courtesy of the crew of the Cutter Dependable

ATLANTIC OCEAN – Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable prepare to board the fishing boat Moragh K Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007, 80 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass. The fishing vessel Moragh K became disabled when a fishing net became fouled in the vessel’s propeller and the crew of the Dependable took the fishing boat in tow to Cape Cod Bay.

Coast Guard photograph courtesy of the crew of the Cutter Dependable

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