Venturous Returns Home After Hurricane Relief, Law Enforcement Operations
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Venturous returned home on Nov. 13 following a 69-day patrol conducting hurricane relief and law enforcement operations in the Caribbean Sea, the Coast Guard said in a release.
The crew of the Venturous transited more than 8,000 miles patrolling the waters around Puerto Rico, enforcing counter narcotics laws, conducting search and rescue, and performing hurricane relief operations in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria.
In September, the Venturous crew deployed a week early to avoid Hurricane Irma’s path. Venturous assumed command of a surface action group, responsible for the safety of seven other smaller cutters, riding out the storm at-sea prior to escorting them to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the cutters re-provisioned and awaited fair weather.
During the patrol, the Venturous crew worked closely with federal partners to bring humanitarian assistance and disaster relief supplies into the Puerto Rican ports of San Juan, Ponce and Fajardo, as well as the islands of Culebra and Vieques, following Hurricane Maria. Overall, the crew delivered more than 150,000 pounds of relief supplies to five coastal cities in Puerto Rico, including 7,000 gallons of fuel and 5,500 gallons of water from the cutter’s tanks.
“Our crew was devoted to assisting the people of Puerto Rico in any way they could,” said Ensign Benjamin Chapman, a crew member aboard Venturous. “The crew even graciously donated about 700 pounds of food from the cutter’s rations and 500 pounds of food from their personal supplies aboard, to aid the citizens of Puerto Rico.”
Venturous engineers also assisted ashore in Puerto Rico to troubleshoot mechanical equipment and repair generators and pumps. Engineers also fixed main water pumps in Vieques, returning usable water to hospitals, homes and businesses on the island and in Culebra.
In addition, the Venturous crew assisted in port reconstitution efforts across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, transporting surveyors from the Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with 2,000 pounds of survey equipment.
“During this patrol, the men and women of Venturous showed their best through their ingenuity, compassion and selflessness, aiding in the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Cmdr. Matt Chong, the cutter’s commanding officer. “This is why many of us joined the Coast Guard, to help others. I am so proud of the work we did together, and I am continually reminded that regardless of the challenge, our talented Coast Guard men and women are always ready and always willing to provide help to those in need.”
Venturous is a 210-foot Reliance-class cutter and has a crew of 76.