Cutter Diligence Returns to Homeport after 59-day Caribbean Sea Patrol

Flight Deck crew on Coast Guard Cutter Diligence conducts helicopter refueling operations in the Windward Passage during a 59-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea. The Diligence patrolled through the Straits of Florida to the Windward Pass between Cuba, the Bahamas, and Haiti alongside interagency and international partners to prevent and respond to dangerous illegal maritime migration and narcotics smuggling. U.S. COAST GUARD photo by Ensign Ashley Hatfield

PENSACOLA, Fla. — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Diligence returned to homeport in Pensacola Thursday after a 59-day Caribbean Sea patrol, the Coast Guard 8th District said in an April 29 release.  

The Diligence crew performed search and rescue, counter-drug and alien migrant interdiction operations in support of Coast Guard 7th District.  

During the patrol, the crew of Diligence received 14 migrants apprehended by other U.S. law enforcement agencies and orchestrated their successful transfer to Cuban and Bahamian immigration officials for processing. The crew also facilitated the transfer of three suspected drug smugglers apprehended by another Coast Guard cutter to U.S. law enforcement authorities in Puerto Rico and accomplished vital intra-agency training with multiple Coast Guard helicopters, to include landings, a helicopter in-flight refueling evolution and rescue swimmer hoist operations to the flight deck and from the cutter’s small boat.  

Additionally, the Diligence crew partnered with Bahamian authorities to respond to a report of a capsized vessel near Cay Sal Bank. The crew searched more than 24 hours in conjunction with Bahamian and Cuban assets for seven reported missing persons. The 59-day patrol was also critical in building proficiency through shipboard drills, training, and qualifications to enhance operational readiness and effectiveness. 

“The Diligence’s crew continued to impress with their steadfast resiliency and professionalism in carrying out this challenging and dynamic patrol, despite difficult weather conditions for the majority of the patrol,” said Cmdr. Luke Slivinski, cutter Diligence commanding officer. “The cutter and crew performed admirably and overcame constant mission changes and unexpected challenges with signature ease. I cannot thank Diligence’s crew enough for the hard work and sacrifices they made under my tenure the last two years.” 

The cutter Diligence is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Pensacola with a crew of 78. The cutter’s primary missions are counter-drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcing federal fishery laws, and search and rescue in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.