Coast Guard cutter Dependable returned to its homeport in Virginia Beach, Va., on Saturday after 59 days at sea.
Dependable’s job included maritime safety and security in the Florida Straits and Windward Passage in support of Homeland Security Task Force-Southeast and Operation Vigilant Sentry, according to a Coast Guard news release.
During the deployment, Dependable:
Located and deterred four unlawful voyages with approximately 100 migrants on board.
Rescued 33 people aboard a 25-foot vessel in distress 6 miles off Haiti’s coast during heavy seas. Crew members conducted the search and rescue mission in 8-to-12-foot seas and winds gusting to 46 mph, saving all on board.
“Over the last two months, the crew of the Dependable have executed all assigned missions with dedication, skill and initiative,” said Cmdr. Kristopher Ensley, commanding officer of Dependable. “Most notably, there are 33 people still alive today because of our crew and the way they courageously braved 12-foot seas, 40-knot winds, and limited visibility to execute this critical rescue. I could not be more proud of this team; they have truly lived up to our ship’s motto: ‘Count on Us!’ ”
Homeland Security Task Force-Southeast was established in 2003. It is a DHS-led interagency task force charged with directing operational and tactical planning and command and control, and it functions as a standing organization to deter, mitigate and respond to maritime mass migration in the Caribbean Sea and Florida Straits.
Dependable is a 210-foot, Reliance-class medium endurance cutter with a crew of 76. Since commissioning in 1968, Dependable has executed counterdrug and migrant interdiction operations, enforced federal fishery laws, and conducted search and rescue missions in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.