Posted: October 2, 2017 5:00 PM

Coast Guard Units Give Relief to Puerto Ricans, Virgin Islanders

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Coast Guard’s cutters in the Caribbean are busily engaged in bringing aid to the residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated the islands, according to the service.

The Coast Guard is working in unison with the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Virgin Island Emergency Managers, and local volunteers to help bring the storm ravaged area back to its feet.

The cutter Winslow Griesser is part of a 13-cutter Surface Asset Group that is working around the clock. Doctor’s Choice Pharmacy shipped critical prescription medication to St. Croix from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, on Sept. 31 onboard the cutter.

Representatives from Doctor’s Choice met the cutter’s small boat at the Branch St. Thomas Boat Forces pier in Charlotte Amalie. The medicine will be distributed to pharmacies on the island.

“If I lived on St. Croix with my own family, I would want somebody to help us out,” said Chief Petty Officer Tito Afip, command chief of the cutter. “It feels good to be able to help our neighbors on St. Croix get the medicine they need.”

Department of Homeland Security special agents arrived in Christiansted, St. Croix, USVI, on Sept. 29 onboard Winslow Griesser to deliver relief supplies and provide security to the U.S. territory.

The agents arrived on the 154-foot cutter after leaving San Juan Sept. 28 with bottled water, electrical cords, cots and a tent. These supplies will be used for those who need assistance on the island.

The Coast Guard Cutter Venturous moored in to deliver fuel and water to Vieques, an island of Puerto Rico Sept. 30. The crew delivered a total of 3,000 gallons of water, 3,800 gallons of diesel fuel and ice to the local community.

Also on Sept. 30, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Elm, a 225-foot Keeper-class buoy tender homeported at the Sector Field Office in Fort Macon, N.C., delivered 28,000 pounds of supplies in Vieques Island. The supplies were half food and half water, and will be distributed by the community leaders of Vieques.

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