Successful drug bust, oil spill response highlight Cutter Tampa’s patrol

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard Cutter Tampa crew will conclude a two-month patrol in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico when they return to Portsmouth Thurs., June 17.

Deployed in late April, the crew disrupted illegal drug trade in the Caribbean Sea in a joint operation with Panamanian authorities, a Dutch warship and a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment. An intensive dockside boarding of one suspect vessel, yielded 750 lbs of cocaine, worth an estimated street value of $10 million.

The Tampa also responded to the Gulf of Mexico, assisting in response and recovery operations for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, serving as a command and control platform in the vicinity of Pensacola and Mobile Bay. The crew searched for recoverable oil, directed multiple Coast Guard and commercial assets in clean-up operations, enforced closure of fisheries and conducted a medical evacuation.

A Famous class cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va., Tampa has made innumerable deployments to both the Caribbean and Pacific in support of the war against drug trafficking. Tampa’s other missions include federal law enforcement, homeland security operations, and search and rescue at sea.

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