CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant returned home Nov. 6 to Cape Canaveral following a 63-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea, the 7th Coast Guard District said in a release.
Vigilant concluded the patrol in which the crew conducted numerous at-sea vessel boardings to ensure the safety of life at sea and enforce U.S. federal laws. The crew also worked with partner nations to enhance national security and stability throughout the Caribbean basin.
During the crew’s two months at sea, they detected and interdicted two drug trafficking vessels, detained seven smugglers, and seized over $700,000 worth of narcotics. The Vigilant crew worked closely with representatives from the Bahamas and Haiti to effect prosecution of the suspected criminals.
The Vigilant crew also saved the lives of three men who had been lost at sea for over six days. The men’s sailboat was caught in a gale, blown over 100 miles from shore, and then becalmed. The survivors had been without water for two days when they were found by the Vigilant crew. After giving them necessary medical attention, the crew returned the survivors safely to their home country.
The Vigilant is a multimission 210-foot medium-endurance cutter. Missions include illegal drug and migrant interdiction, as well as search and rescue. The Vigilant patrols throughout the Caribbean basin to ensure safety of life at sea and to enforce international and domestic laws.