Cutter Forward Returns to Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The crew of the 270-foot Coast Guard Cutter Forward homeported in Portsmouth will return home Wednesday at 11 a.m. after a successful 66-day deployment to the Caribbean Sea.

While on patrol in the Windward Passage, the area of ocean between Haiti, the Bahamas and Cuba, the Forward acted as a deterrent to Haitian migrants attempting to flee Haiti for Florida. With the support of Coast Guard air crews from Air Stations Miami, Clearwater and Mobile, the Forward interdicted two Haitian sail-freighters and embarked 150 Haitian migrants during the patrol.

The Forward also conducted a major international search and rescue case for 39 Dominican fishermen after their vessel, Abra Cadabra, capsized off the coast of the Dominican Republic. The crew located and rescued 18 fishermen over the course of five days.

In addition, Forward watch standers spotted a man desperately clinging to a piece of debris from a sunken fishing vessel. The Forward deployed a rescue swimmer to safely bring the exhausted fisherman on board. It was determined that the fisherman spent 91 hours in the water.

Crewmembers also worked with sailors from the Royal Bahamian Defense Force, and assisted local Bahamian businesses and members of the U.S. embassy in a harbor cleanup project that removed four commercial dumpsters of garbage from the floor of Nassau Harbor.

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