Coast Guard Cutter Northland Returns from Gulf of Mexico patrol

Coast Guard Cutter Northland file photo

Coast Guard Cutter Northland file photo

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard Cutter Northland returned home to Portsmouth from a patrol in support of the Eighth Coast Guard District, Monday.

During the patrol, the crew of the Northland conducted daily law enforcement boardings and patrolled the waters for any illegal fishing boats or gear to ensure fair, safe, and sustainable practices.

The Northland crew embarked an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aviation detachment for the patrol to assist in spotting vessels and targets of interest before launching the cutter small boats.

Prior to beginning patrol, the Northland crew underwent a training availability to test their ability to respond to a variety of shipboard scenarios, such as engine room fires and defense operations. Immediately following the inspection, the Northland crew sailed to Pensacola, Florida, where they successfully completed a biennial evaluation of shipboard helicopter operations.

Upon leaving Pensacola, the cutter patrolled the Maritime Boundary Line, between the United States and Mexico. Once on scene, the crew began fisheries enforcement, deterring illegal fishing and ensuring compliance with federal laws.

Constant surveillance led to the interdiction of one vessel illegally fishing in U.S. waters and the retrieval of miles of fishing gear intentionally left behind by foreign fishermen. The Northland’s presence and enforcement of laws ensured the safety, fairness, and longevity of fisheries throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

“I continue to be impressed with the drive and adaptability that the crew demonstrates on a daily basis,” said Cmdr. Patricia Bennett, commanding officer of Coast Guard Cutter Northland. “I am thankful for the crew’s desire for mission excellence, and also grateful for the Northland being afforded the opportunity to conduct domestic fisheries operations. It is a mission that helps ensure the safety of fishermen and helps sustain a natural marine resource with global implications. Halting illegal fishing through the combination of effective policy and enforcement actions is the best way to prevent the detrimental impact to coastal communities, nations reliant upon seafood as a primary source of protein, and the entire oceanic ecosystem.”

The Northland is a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter that routinely deploys in support of counter-drug, alien migrant interdiction, fisheries, search and rescue and homeland security missions.

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