Venturous Crew Returns Home After Patrol Without Their Ship

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Venturous, homeported in St. Petersburg, is scheduled to return here Monday at 5 p.m. after a 50-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea.

The Venturous crew patrolled aboard their sister ship, Coast Guard Cutter Resolute, also homeported in St. Petersburg, as part of the Coast Guard’s Mission Effectiveness Project multi-crew initiative.

While the Venturous remains at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Md., undergoing an extensive overhaul, her crew took custody of the Resolute in order to complete the operational hours necessary in the busy Seventh Coast Guard District waters in support of counter-narcotics and migrant interdiction operations.

The Resolute first patrolled in the Windward Pass, a stretch of water between Cuba and Haiti, working closely with an HH-65C helicopter detachment from Coast Guard Air Station Miami, and a Royal Bahamian Defence Force ship rider to detect and board targets of interest transiting from Haiti to the Bahamas and the United States. The ship interdicted an overloaded Haitian sail freighter in the dark of the night and safely transferred 50 Haitian migrants to Resolute’s flight deck. The migrants were provided with food, water, and shelter prior to their repatriation to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Venturous boarding teams completed 10 law enforcement boarding’s, all of which were a joint effort under Bahamian jurisdiction. The teams checked for adherence to Bahamian customs laws and searched all vessels for illicit drug and migrant trafficking.

A welcome home break took place at the mid-patrol point as Resolute returned to St. Petersburg for a week-long maintenance period. The crews of Venturous and Resolute worked together to make essential repairs and prepare the ship for the remainder of the patrol off the coasts of Miami and Key West.

While patrolling off the coast of Freeport, Bahamas, Resolute received a mayday call from the vessel Due Diligence, a 50-foot sportsfisher, homeported in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., reporting a crewmember had fallen overboard. Resolute diverted and commenced a three-day search. As on-scene commander, Resolute directed a Coast Guard C-130 search plane, an HU-25 aircraft, two HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters, and several patrol boats, as well as Bahamian Air and Sea Rescue Association units. After an exhaustive three-day search covering 5,000 square miles of sea, the crewmember was not located.

In its final weeks of patrol, Resolute was tasked with Alien Migrant Interdiction Operations. The crew patrolled the seas between Key West and Cuba searching for vessels attempting to illegally enter the United States. During a 10 day period, the crew provided humanitarian care for 166 Cuban migrants aboard Resolute while they were processed and waited final disposition.

Resolute worked closely with patrol boats in the area to aggressively detect and intercept northbound go-fast vessels and rafts departing Cuba.

Venturous and Resolute are 210-foot Medium Endurance Cutters. Venturous is under the command of Cmdr. Robert K. Thompson, and Resolute is under the command of Cmdr. G. Todd Prestidge. Both cutters have a crew of 12 officers and 68 enlisted personnel.

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