Coast Guard Cutter Spencer returns to Boston after 80-day counter-narcotic patrol

A crew member from Coast Guard Cutter Spencer rescued two sea turtles from entangled fishing gear Monday, Sept. 30, 2018, in the Eastern Pacific Ocean during their 80-day patrol. One of the sea turtles rescued was an endangered Hawksbill sea turtle. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A crew member from Coast Guard Cutter Spencer rescues two sea turtles from entangled fishing gear Monday, Sept. 30, 2018, in the Eastern Pacific Ocean during their 80-day patrol.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

BOSTON — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Spencer returned to its homeport of Boston Monday after an 80-day patrol in the Eastern Pacific interdicting drugs, rescuing sea turtles, and saving a mariner off the coast of North Carolina.

During the deployment in the Eastern Pacific, Spencer’s crew interdicted a smuggling vessel with 4,497 pounds of cocaine on board, an estimated street value of $65 million.

The crew also rescued two sea turtles entangled in fishing nets, including a Hawksbill sea turtle.

On the return home from their deployment, the crew of the Spencer diverted to assist in a search and rescue case off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The crew rendezvoused with the crew of the 48-foot sailboat, Marie Elena, at approximately 7:30 a.m., Saturday, launched their small boat crew and transported the distressed 57-year-old crew member aboard the cutter.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, hoisted the crew member from the Spencer and transported him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia.

Spencer’s crew also participated in hurricane recovery efforts during Hurricane Florence.

“The crew of the Spencer is looking forward to spending the holiday season with family and friends after a successful and eventful 80-day patrol,” said Cmdr. John McTamney, commanding officer of Spencer.

Spencer is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter with a crew complement of 100.

Read more about the search and rescue case here.

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