Steadfast returns home after 52-day patrol

Steadfast returns home after 52-day patrol
ASTORIA, Ore. – The United States Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC 623) returned to her homeport of Astoria, Ore., on Thursday from a successful 52-day deployment. The 210′ cutter and its 75-person crew conducted Living Marine Resource enforcement off the Washington and Oregon coast.

During the patrol, Steadfast conducted at-sea boardings of 30 commercial fishing vessels, enforcing the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act and federal law. Steadfast also assisted in the enforcement of state fisheries regulations. The unit worked in concert with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Marine Fisheries System (NMFS), the Oregon State Police, and Washington Fish and Wildlife. Steadfast issued 29 citations and terminated the voyage of one vessel due to exceptionally unsafe conditions.

The patrol included daily joint operations with helicopters from Coast Guard Air Stations North Bend, Ore, Astoria, Ore, and Port Angeles, Wash. The helicopters assisted Steadfast with locating fishing fleets and enhanced maritime domain awareness efforts in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Following the Alaska Rover rescue in early April by other Coast Guard units, the cutter also conducted training with helicopters to ensure crews from both the aircraft and cutter remained fully prepared for emergencies and search and rescue cases.

Steadfast is a Reliance Class cutter, one of 14 in the Coast Guard fleet and one of only three based on the West Coast. It was commissioned in 1968 and has been home ported in Astoria since January 1994. The cutter earned the nickname “El Tiburon Blanco,” or “White Shark” from drug smugglers while based in St. Petersburg, Fla., for its notoriously effective law enforcement operations in the Caribbean. It was the first cutter to be awarded the gold marijuana leaf, indicating one million pounds of marijuana seized.

Steadfast will be dockside in Astoria preparing for a summer patrol and a change of command in June. Public tours are available on Sundays, 17th St Pier, Astoria.

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