San Diego cutter returns home after three-month patrol

SAN DIEGO — Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton returned home on Tuesday, after a three-month deployment to Haiti and the Eastern Pacific.

The 378-foot cutter’s crew was in the Eastern Pacific conducting a counter-narcotics patrol when a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti.

Hamilton diverted from the patrol and sailed through the Panama Canal for relief operations and deterrence of mass migration on unseaworthy and unsafe vessels in the Caribbean.

Hamilton’s crew was responsible for balancing the deterrence of mass migration with maritime domain awareness and search and rescue responsibilities, along with emergent logistical support to the humanitarian relief efforts.

Hamilton’s crew seamlessly interfaced and operated with elements of Department of Defense U.S. Southern Command and Coast Guard shore, surface and air assets, including use of Hamilton’s embarked helicopter to deliver critical medical supplies and personnel.

Hamilton’s crew rescued 88 Haitian migrants from a sinking 40-foot sailing vessel. Additionally, in cooperation with the Royal Bahamian Defense Forces, Hamilton safely embarked 78 migrants and orchestrated their safe repatriation to Cap Haitien.

After completing duties off the coast of Haiti, Hamilton returned the Eastern Pacific counter-narcotics operations where the crew patrolled along known drug trafficking routes.

Patrol efforts were not exclusive to the counter-narcotics mission. The foreign vessel Capitan Eduardo experienced an engineering casualty that left its crew without food, water and a means of propulsion for a week. Hamilton took the three crewmembers onboard and brought them safely back to Costa Rica.

Commissioned in 1967, Hamilton is the first of twelve Secretary Class High Endurance Cutters and its homeport is at Naval Station San Diego. If anyone in the media has questions or would like to seek more information please contact Ensign Ryan Newmeyer at

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