Coast Guard Cutter Valiant crew returns from eight-week patrol

d7JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Valiant returned to their homeport Friday at Naval Station Mayport, in Jacksonville, Florida.

During the 52-day deployment, the crew sailed throughout the Windward Passage and the North Caribbean Sea in support of Operation Southeast Watch.

One stop included a visit to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While anchored, Valiant crew hosted the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, the Honorable Pamela White; the Deputy Chief of Mission to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti, the Honorable Brian Shukan; the Chief of the Haitian Coast Guard, Commissaire Joseph Jean-Marie Wagnac; and other government representatives.

The Valiant crew also responded to a search and rescue case involving a 55-foot fishing vessel, which was adrift and taking on water in the Old Bahama Channel. Valiant escorted the vessel over 100 nautical miles to Ragged Island, Bahamas where it transferred the vessel to a Royal Bahamian Defense Force patrol vessel.

Valiant’s crew repatriated 24 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien, Haiti, and embarked 11 Cuban migrants that had been rescued by the crew of the cruise ship Carnival Liberty. The Valiant’s crew patrolled the Windward Passage to prevent overloaded Haitian migrant vessels from taking to sea, a dangerous practice that risks the lives of hundreds of men, women and children each year.

Coast Guard Cutter Valiant is a 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutter. Under Operation Southeast Watch, the U.S. Coast Guard works alongside interagency and international partners to prevent and respond to illegal maritime migration in the Caribbean Sea and Florida Straits.

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