Diligence Returns From Caribbean Law Enforcement Patrol

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The crew of the 210-foot Coast Guard Cutter Diligence, homeported in Wilmington, N.C., will return home Tuesday at 2 p.m. following a 53-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea in support of Operation Caribe Venture, a counter-narcotics operation.
The crew of the Diligence departed Wilmington for the Caribbean Sea January 12.

Coast Guard Cutter DiligenceSome of the highlights include a pursuit of a go-fast vessel vessel suspected of narcotics trafficking heading west towards the coast of Nicaragua Jan. 23. The Diligence maritime law enforcement boarding team on board a small boat pursued the go-fast in an effort to stop the fleeing vessel. Coordinating operational efforts with Colombian and Nicaraguan naval forces, the chase spanned more than 50 nautical miles, and ended off the Nicaraguan coast resulting in the apprehension of two narco-traffickers, and an interdiction of 4,400 pounds of cocaine.

On January 30, the Diligence arrived in Cartagena, Colombia for the first port call of the patrol, and hosted Brian Nichols, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia. Nichols was joined by Cmdr. Joe Hester, the Coast Guard and Police Attaché to Colombia. Two Diligence crewmembers were also promoted during the visit. Petty Officers John Frangullie and James Holston were both promoted to Petty Officer Second Class during a ceremony officiated by Fears and Nichols.

After leaving Colombia, the Diligence crew continued to patrol the Caribbean Sea for illegal drug traffickers. Boarding Teams conducted several other at-sea boardings of vessels suspected of drug smuggling including fishing vessels, fuel supply ships, and sailing vessels.

The 53-day patrol was successful and crewmembers look forward to returning home to Wilmington. As always, the crew appreciates the continued support of their families, loved ones, and the City of Wilmington.

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