KODIAK, Alaska — The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley returned to their homeport in Kodiak on Oct. 20 following a 40-day deployment throughout the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, the Coast Guard 17th District said in a release.
Since departing Kodiak in September, the crew patroled 5,000 miles and conducted 13 at-sea boardings.
The crew also conducted law-enforcement operations during the opening of the red king crab season and participated in several search-and-rescue cases. Most notably, Alex Haley’s onboard helicopter crew medically evacuated a crew member from fishing vessel Alaska Victory after he was exposed to a release of toxic ammonia refrigerant on Sept. 28.
Midway through the patrol, Alex Haley visited the remote community of St. Paul, Alaska, where crew members conducted a clean-up of a local lakefront and met with community elders. These events helped strengthen one of the many partnerships between the Coast Guard and local Alaskan communities.
“This patrol is my first aboard Alex Haley and my first in the Bering Sea,” said Cmdr. Benjamin Golightly, the cutter’s commanding officer. “After a long period in homeport, which included major dockside repairs, the crew did an outstanding job transitioning back into the demanding routine of operations at sea.”
“The opportunity to patrol the Bering Sea during the highly visible red king crab season was tremendously rewarding and uniquely challenging,” Golightly added. “Between the rapid operational pace of fisheries boardings, the notorious unpredictability of the weather, and the fact that search-and-rescue cases can occur at any time, there was no shortage of challenges to be met by the crew.”
Alex Haley is a 282-foot medium-endurance cutter that has been homeported in Kodiak since 1999, routinely operating throughout the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska and Pacific Ocean. The cutter’s ability to operate in extreme weather provides the mission flexibility necessary to perform search and rescue, fisheries law enforcement and vessel safety inspections across Alaska.
These operations occur under the tactical control of the 17th Coast Guard District in Juneau, which encompasses the entire state of Alaska, as well as the coastal and offshore waters seaward over several thousands of miles.