The crew of the Cape May-based Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous returned on Sunday from a 48-day patrol. The Vigorous crew departed Oct. 1 for a counter-drug and counter-human trafficking patrol throughout the Caribbean Sea. During the patrol, Vigorous crewmembers offloaded $40 million worth of cocaine at Port Everglades, Fla.
On Nov. 12, the Vigorous crew intercepted an overloaded Haitian sailing vessel off the North coast of Haiti containing 68 migrants. The migrants were transferred to Vigorous carefully using the cutter’s small rescue boats. They were then medically cared for, and supplied with food and water before being repatriated to Haiti. The Vigorous also served as a migrant holding platform, providing shelter and care for 84 Cuban migrants.
The Vigorous crew also assisted in the rescue of a severely dehydrated Canadian sailor along with a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, Puerto Rico. The Vigorous crew worked with the air station crew to provide the 61-year-old man with necessary medical care.
Medium endurance cutters like the 210-foot Vigorous are built for multi-week offshore patrols, including operations requiring enhanced communications, and helicopter and pursuit boat operations, which provide a key capability for homeland security missions at sea.
Press Release, November 19, 2013; Image: USCG