Coast Guard Cutter Reliance returns home following Caribbean patrol

KITTERY, Maine— The Coast Guard Cutter Reliance returned to its homeport at the Portsmouth Naval Ship Yard here Friday following a 54-day patrol of the Caribbean.

The Reliance successfully carried out a variety of Coast Guard missions while on patrol including search and rescue, migrant interdiction, and law enforcement.

The Reliance departed Maine on May 4, 2009, and transited to the Caribbean where the crew worked with the armed forces of the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Dominican Republic. They also joined crews from U.S. Coast Guard units at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and San Juan, Puerto Rico, to ensure the safety of life at sea and enforcement of international law.

On a routine patrol in Haitian waters, the Reliance, with the cooperation of the Haitian Armed Forces, repatriated 35 Haitians to Port Au Prince, Haiti, after the Coast Guard Cutter Venturous, a 210-foot cutter homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla., found them.

The Reliance rescued two Dominican fishermen, who were without food or water for four of the seven days they were lost at sea. The fishermen were lost in a storm that was 250 miles from where they were found. The men had no radio or navigation equipment, and their small outboard engine had failed.

After days of searching by Dominican and U.S. Coast Guard boat and air crews, the crew of the Reliance found the men and gave them medical treatment and clothing. The crew of the Reliance also salvaged the fishermen’s boat, thereby preserving their livelihood. After a rendezvous with the Dominican Navy, the men were transported back to the Dominican Republic.

The crew of the Reliance also hosted Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute for an overnight stay, a boat tour, and dinner with the crew. During her introduction to underway life, Lute addressed the entire crew and expressed her pride in the Coast Guard and the importance of its role in the Homeland Security Mission.

During the patrol, the Reliance crew stopped for port calls in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Key West, Fla.

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