Coast Guard Cutter Reliance returns to homeport

Portsmouth, N.H. – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Reliance returned home today, after a six-week patrol in the Florida Straits.

The crew’s primary mission was to patrol the maritime border between Cuba and the Florida Keys.

During the patrol, the Reliance crew interdicted three go-fast vessels and one homemade vessel involved in smuggling operations.

Throughout the operation, over 400 Cuban and Haitian migrants were housed aboard the Reliance awaiting repatriation.

The crew of the Reliance arrived in the patrol area during a severe storm and towed two disabled vessels to safety.

The first, motor vessel Vieques II, had become disabled in the Florida Straits. Its engines had failed due to dirty fuel, and its anchor line had become twisted around its propeller.

The second rescue was of the crew aboard sailing vessel Taloa and took place the following night. The elderly crew of the Taloa was fatigued after spending nearly four days adrift at sea. The master of the vessel sustained minor injuries and was treated by Reliance’s emergency medical technician. After assisting the crew of the Taloa, Reliance took the vessel in tow and proceeded to, Key West, Fla.

“This patrol has been an exciting start to our new year,” said Cmdr. Webster Balding, commanding officer of the Reliance. “Our efforts illustrate some of the many missions the Coast Guard is routinely called upon to perform.”

Reliance, commissioned in 1964, is the oldest cutter serving in the Coast Guard’s Atlantic Fleet.

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