Venturous to Return Home After Successful Patrol

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Coast Guard Cutter Venturous, home ported in St. Petersburg, Fla., is scheduled to Friday at about 9 a.m. after a 35-day patrol in the Straits of Florida.

Early in the patrol, Venturous embarked 50 Cuban migrants over a three-day period from local Coast Guard assets stationed in Key West, Fla. The crew onboard Venturous ensured that each person was given proper medical attention, as well as the essentials of food, water, and blankets for the seven-day period they were onboard.

Mid-way through the patrol, Venturous interdicted four Cuban migrants about 25-miles offshore of Cuba. The men were in a raft composed of wooden planks connected to four inner tubes and a homemade sail. The four men were given medical care and treatment and transferred to the Coast Guard Cutter Sitkinak, a 123-foot patrol boat home ported in Key West, Fla., for repatriation to Cuba.

Venturous also conducted several days of helicopter operations with the HH-65C helicopter, during which the helicopter searched for potential law-enforcement targets of interest, while also completing critical shipboard-helicopter training for both crews.

In its final week of patrol, Venturous interdicted a go-fast vessel suspected of attempting to smuggle seven migrants into the United States from the Bahamas. The vessel was spotted on radar six-miles from the cutter traveling at nearly 30 knots, with its navigational lights extinguished. Venturous quickly launched its small boat and a five-man response team and set off on a chase that lasted an hour and a half at speeds of over 40 knots. During the chase, Venturous received critical air support from a Customs and Border Patrol aircraft which aided in the team’s successful interdiction and boarding of the vessel. Two Bahamian, one Jamaican and four Haitian migrants were detained while the two suspected Bahamian smugglers were turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials for prosecution.

After Venturous’ crewmembers return home and spend some much-earned time with their families, the ship is scheduled to depart again in late March for a six-month maintenance period at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Md., where many of her systems will be modernized to once again extend her service life well beyond her 40 years.

Coast Guard Cutter Venturous is a 210-foot Reliance class cutter. Venturous is under the command of Cmdr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy, and has a crew of 77 officers and enlisted personnel.

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