Coast Guard Cutter Dependable returns from 42-day patrol

The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable transits toward the pier at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Virginia. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake.

The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable transits toward the pier at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Virginia. U.S. Coast Guard file photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Dependable (WMEC 626) returned to their home port in Virginia Beach, Sunday, following a 42-day patrol in the Florida Straits and Windward Passage.

Dependable’s crew contributed to the interdiction, care and repatriation of over 300 migrants while patrolling the Seventh Coast Guard District’s area of responsibility in support of Operation Vigilant Sentry and Homeland Security Taskforce — Southeast.

While operating in the Florida Straits, Dependable was supported by multiple Coast Guard air assets to interdict two known drug smugglers in the vicinity of the Old Bahama Channel. Dependable’s small boat crew stopped the vessel and embarked the smugglers. Over 1,100 pounds of contraband was recovered, making this the first drug bust for the cutter in more than three years.

Throughout the patrol, Dependable also collaborated with numerous other Coast Guard and partner assets, including a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment embarked on the Navy ship USS Little Rock.

“The crew has been training to conduct migrant interdiction operations since July 2022,” said Lt. Cmdr. Dana Prefer, Dependable’s executive officer. “In preparation for the recent uptick in maritime migration ventures, we worked hard to qualify over 50 crew members to provide security and care for the migrants embarked aboard the cutter. All the training and preparation paid off as it was truly a team effort to interdict, process, and care for the well-being of migrants throughout our patrol.”

Dependable is a 210-foot Reliance-class medium endurance cutter with a crew of 67. The cutter’s primary missions include counter drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcement of federal fishery laws, and search and rescue in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

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