Vigilant Returns to Port Canaveral After 61 Days

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – The Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant, from Port Canaveral, will return Thursday at 9 a.m. after a 61-day deployment in the Caribbean Sea.

Two Vigilant boarding officers were detached from the cutter to assist the Royal Bahamian Police Force Drug Enforcement Unit during a boarding of a 140-foot coastal freighter suspected of carrying narcotics in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. Vigilant’s boarding officers discovered 30-taped plastic packages containing approximately 70-pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $900,000 import value, which led to the arrest of the vessel’s captain and nine crew members by Bahamian law enforcement officials.

Vigilant, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Puerto Rico Police Department Forces United for Rapid Action interdicted a small wooden yola with nine Dominican nationals off the coast of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Vigilant crew members embarked the migrants and positively identified one of the migrants as having being previously deported or formally removed from U.S. territory. Custody was then transferred to U.S. Border Patrol agents for prosecution.

Vigilant also embarked an Air Station Miami helicopter and its crew while assigned duties as Commander Task Unit for the Windward Passage. The assigned helicopter assisted Vigilant and other units in patrolling the area between Haiti, the Bahamas, and Cuba. In addition to operational duties, the crew of Vigilant spent three weeks at Tailored Annual Cutter Training.

TACT is an annual training evaluation conducted at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., by the U.S. Navy Afloat Training Group. In preparation for TACT, Vigilant’s crew went through a strenuous series of drills and scenarios in an effort to hone their damage control, navigation & engineering skills. The hard work and dedication they displayed paid off during TACT, as Vigilant posted superior scores, earning the coveted Battle “E” award for overall operational readiness

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