Coast Guard Cutter returns to Wilmington, N.C., after Caribbean counter-drug operations

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Diligence is scheduled to return to Wilmington Thursday following a 54-day counter-narcotics patrol in the Caribbean Sea.

The Diligence departed Wilmington April 11 for the Caribbean Sea to support Joint Interagency Task Force South, led by Coast Guard Rear Adm. Joseph L. Nimmich, which works in conjunction with other nations to detect, monitor, and interdict drug flow in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.

While on patrol, Diligence also provided community relations assistance during liberty port calls in Barbados and Curacao.

During a three day port call in Barbados, 10 Diligence crewmembers assisted with preparing The Hope Sanctuary, a local animal shelter, to protect some of Barbados’ growing number of neglected, abused, and abandoned dogs and cats. The Hope Sanctuary’s recently acquired property had been neglected for several years and was in desperate need of repairs. The crew made repairs to the shelter building and cleaned up the property. Crewmembers poured concrete, cut down brush, painted, and mended fences. The work will help the shelter provide better care and allow for increased protection of the island’s mistreated dogs and cats.

“Helping to renovate the animal shelter was a great success,” said Ens. James Toomey, the supply officer on the Diligence. “The work the crew performed was much-needed and will allow the increased protection of animals on Barbados.”

While in Curacao for a three-day port call, Diligence crewmembers volunteered to assist other local U.S. Military personnel clean up an assisted-living center. They spent the better part of a day clearing trees, bushes, and painting flowers for residents.

“It was great to do some work off the ship for a change and the residents of the assisted-living center were grateful for our efforts,” said Seaman Jeffery Shaw, one of the volunteers.

“These two community relation projects provided the crew of the Diligence opportunities to positively represent the U.S. military in other nations,” said Ens. Matt Borger.

“The patrol was successful for the crew of Diligence, who look forward to returning home to Wilmington,” Borger added. “As always, the crew appreciates the continued support of their families, loved ones, and the city of Wilmington.”

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