Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous returns from 5-week patrol

USCG file photo

CAPE MAY, N.J. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous, homeported here, returned Monday from a 36-day patrol of the North Atlantic Ocean.

During the patrol, the crew’s missions consisted of enforcing fisheries regulations, conducting search and rescue operations and protecting living marine resources.

The crew began their deployment by towing the disabled fishing vessel Nordic Viking 60 miles back to Cape May in dense fog April 12, where they were safely transferred to a commercial towing company.

“We train for these conditions all the time and have capable radar and other equipment to help us safely navigate through fog, but it can make at-sea boardings much more challenging,” said Chief Petty Officer John Sehn, a crewmember aboard the Vigorous.

The crew of Vigorous completed 40 at-sea commercial fishing vessel inspections, ensuring compliance with both safety regulations and federal fisheries requirements.

They concentrated mostly on the many fishing vessels that operate off the shore of New Jersey this time of year and the crew also enforced federal regulations that prohibit fishing for Atlantic striped bass in the exclusive economic zone, an area of sea that extends beyond three miles from shore.

“We boarded many scallop and multispecies fishing boats this patrol to ensure they were safe and following federal laws,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Mark Wood, a boarding officer on the Vigorous. “Most boat captains welcomed our boarding teams aboard, and we were very happy to see very few safety or fisheries violations. It shows that fishing vessel captains and crews are as dedicated to preserving safety of life at sea as much as we are.”

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