Coast Guard cutter returns to homeport after Hurricane Michael relief mission

Coast Guard crew members from Station Panama City and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Vice, a 75-foot Class Inland Construction Tender assist Panama City residents after the wake of Hurricane Michael, Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018.   During relief efforts, Coast Guard crews collected data on damages, assisted community members and addressed concerns with aids to navigation caused by Hurricane Michael along Florida’s Gulf Coast. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guard crew members from Station Panama City and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Vice, a 75-foot Class Inland Construction Tender assist Panama City residents after the wake of Hurricane Michael, Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018.
During relief efforts, Coast Guard crews collected data on damages, assisted community members and addressed concerns with aids to navigation caused by Hurricane Michael along Florida’s Gulf Coast. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vise returned Monday to St. Petersburg, after responding to Hurricane Michael and conducting a 16-day port reconstitution and aids to navigation (ATON) patrol.

During the patrol, the crew of the Vise assisted with the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Michael. The crew transited over 650 miles and serviced more than 70 ATON in an effort to facilitate safe navigation along the Intracoastal Waterway from St. Marks to Panama City.

“Due to the Coast Guard’s preparation and responsiveness, the crew of the Vise, along with other Coast Guard operational and support elements, were able to reopen the entire ICW and Port of Panama City within days of the devastating storm,” said Chief Warrant Officer Paul Curtis, commanding officer of the Vise.

The Vise is a 75-foot Inland Construction Tender that pushes a 68-foot crane barge. The crew of 16 maintains the west coast of Florida’s fixed aid to navigation systems that includes approximately 1,600 aids.

“Maritime commerce is the lifeblood of the global economy and the crew of the Vise played a major part during this deployment by ensuring the ports and waterways in the hurricane affected areas were properly marked to ensure all maritime traffic can operate in a safe manner,” said Curtis. “By quickly and efficiently reopening ports, and ensuring safe transit along the waterways, our crew played a key role in the Coast Guard’s Maritime Commerce Strategy.”

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