Dauntless returns from patrol in time for holidays

GALVESTON, Texas – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless (WMEC-624) is scheduled to return home Friday morning after conducting a 46 day patrol.

Dauntless set sail in early November to conduct a multi-mission patrol in the Gulf of Mexico; the crew’s primary mission was to enforce Living Marine Resource laws and regulations as well as ensure commercial fishing boat safety compliance.

Dauntless conducted a total of 20 boardings of shrimp and longline fishing boats to ensure they were in compliance with all applicable federal laws and regulations. Out of those 20, three fishing boats had their voyages terminated by the appropriate Captain of the Port due to especially hazardous conditions discovered aboard the vessels and one vessel had its catch seized for illegally fishing with live bait. The use of live bait by pelagic longline fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico was prohibited in 2000 to reduce the catch of swordfish.

On December 1st, Dauntless aided an offshore supply boat, the Epic Endeavor, which struck a partially submerged object early in the morning. Dauntless’ crew was able to provide a visual inspection of the supply boat’s hull checking for damages to ensure it was not taking on water. Fortunately, there was no significant damage to the supply boat and it was able to return to port to conduct a more thorough damage assessment. On December 15th, Dauntless was diverted to respond to a downed 407 Bell helicopter that had crashed offshore. The survivors were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Houston less than two hours after the crash and taken to safety.

Dauntless also assisted in the repair of a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) buoy by transporting two NOAA technicians to the buoy approximately 200 nautical miles offshore. The NOAA technicians were able to make repairs and adjustments that enabled the weather buoy to resume transmissions of vital weather and oceanographic data to assist mariners throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

Dauntless, a 210-foot medium endurance cutter, was commissioned in June 1968 and is the largest U.S. Coast Guard Cutter based in Texas. Dauntless continues to fill a vital role in the Department of Homeland Security by conducting national defense and maritime homeland security missions, interdicting illegal drugs, preventing illegal immigration, and rescuing mariners in distress.

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