Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma performs combined maritime operations with Haitian coast guard

CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti­­­­ — The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma, based in Kittery, Maine, conducted law-enforcement boardings in the vicinity of Haitian territories of Baie du Cap-Hatien in a combined effort with members of the Haitian coast guard Aug 30, 2009.

In concurrence with the two countries bilateral agreement, the Tahoma and Haitian coast guard boarding teams conducted successful boardings consisting of basic safety and security inspections of the ships’ personnel and cargo. In addition, Tahoma provided logistical support, enhancing the Haitian coast guard’s operational capacity.

“The boarding was routine for us,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jim Sweetman, the Tahoma’s lead boarding officer. “Down the road, this will help with relationships between us and the Haitian coast guard, which I hope will limit the amount of illegal activities that come out of Haiti. It was a big learning experience on both sides.”

The 40-foot Haitian smallboat crew was joined by the Tahoma boat crew in order to provide personnel transport and security during the course of the boarding operations. Haitian and Tahoma boarding teams were able to effectively communicate with the crewmembers of each of the boarded vessels using the aid and assistance of a civilian interpreter.

The Tahoma is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter. The crew is currently underway in the Caribbean Sea conducting maritime law-enforcement operations and is on standby for search and rescue.

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