Cutter Vigorous returns from 53 day multi-mission patrol

CAPE MAY, N.J. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous returns to its homeport of Cape May Wednesday at 2:20 p.m. following a 53 day patrol in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

Upon departing Cape May in March, the crew Vigorous patrolled the mid-Atlantic Ocean in support of Operation Safe Catch, a Coast Guard operation intended to improve commercial fishing vessel safety and prevent loss of life and property at sea by increasing the rate of safety compliance with existing safety standards through education and outreach. They patrolled the fishing grounds off the coast of New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia providing at-sea enforcement of commercial fishing vessel safety rules and regulations while conducting 18 boardings of commercial fishing vessels. All 18 vessels boarded were found to be in full compliance with applicable regulations.

“Typically a cutter deploys to a district and will remain there for the duration of the patrol. Vigorous deployed to two districts and three separate patrol areas making this a very dynamic and challenging deployment,” said Chief Petty Officer Jeffrey Graham, Vigorous operations chief.

Following the Operation Safe Catch patrol, the Vigorous and its crew sailed more than 1,000 miles to the Yucatan Pass in the Gulf of Mexico to participate in a joint maritime defense exercise with U.S. and Mexican Navy forces. The joint exercise simulated the interdiction of a potential terrorist threat on the high seas. U.S. and Mexican authorities exercised joint communication plans and procedures to identify, stop and board several training vessels.

The crew of the Vigorous also deployed to the Windward Pass off the north coast of Haiti to provide humanitarian assistance and maritime security assistance in support of the government of Haiti. They helped repatriate 90 Haitian migrants to Cap Haitien after they were located at sea on a grossly-overloaded vessel. The crew discovered a 25-foot vessel approximately 20 miles northeast of Ile de La Tortue, Haiti, heading toward the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos Islands. Vigorous crewmembers distributed life jackets to the migrants and safely transferred the 57 men, 32 women and one child to the cutter.

“Safety of life at sea is paramount and we make every effort to rescue people embarked in unseaworthy craft or in peril from the sea regardless of nationality or circumstances,” said Lt. Adam Disque, the cutter’s operations officer.

As a multi-mission, 210-foot medium-endurance cutter, the crew of Vigorous conducts a wide range missions, including search and rescue, homeland security, maritime law enforcement and maintaining coastal security.

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