Cutter completes successful patrol; rescues, assists more than 897 migrants

PASCAGOULA, Miss. – The Coast Guard Cutter Decisive returned to its homeport here, today after completing an eight-week multi-mission deployment in the Florida Straits and Windward Passage.

The Decisive conducted search and rescue, migrant interdiction, drug enforcement, humanitarian operations and enforcement of U.S. Laws and treaties during the patrol.

Since departing in March, the cutter Decisive and its 82 crewmembers were involved in stopping multiple migrant smuggling attempts originating from Haiti and Cuba.

The Decisive stopped four migrant smuggling attempts in the Florida Straits resulting in the interdiction of 43 migrants. An additional 47 migrants were transferred to the Decisive while administrative matters and governmental agreements with regards to their repatriation were reached.

In addition to maintaining an increased operational schedule, the Decisive hosted a visit by a delegation of Congressional staff members. The visit provided the members with a first hand account of migrant operations and the challenges associated with the mission.

Highlighting the patrol was the Decisive’s efforts during a brief sudden increase in migrant departures from Haiti’s north coast. As the Decisive transited into the Windward Pass, between the coasts of Cuba and Haiti, two Haitian sailing vessels were interdicted within 12 hours of each other, leading to the rescue of 234 migrants. Both vessels were 35-foot in length, propelled by makeshift sails and rudders, and unseaworthy. The 234 Haitian migrants were found without lifejackets and minimal food supplies. In total Decisive interdicted three overloaded Haitian sailing vessels and repatriated 429 Haitians, and assisted in the rescue of 378 more migrants taken on by other cutters.

The Coast Guard Cutter Decisive is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter and one of four cutters homeported at Singing River Island in Pascagoula.

The cutter has 12 officers and 70 enlisted crewmembers.

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