The crew of USCGC Harriet Lane (WMEC 903) returned to homeport in Portsmouth on Monday, following a 50-day patrol in the North Atlantic Ocean.
While on patrol, the Harriet Lane crew navigated over 6,559 miles along the southeastern coast of the United States, extending as far south as the northern coast of Cuba and east to The Bahamas, performing migrant interdiction and search and rescue operations in support of the U.S. Coast Guard Seventh District.
The Harriet Lane patrolled the Florida Straits to aid with a recent surge in unsafe and illegal migration by sea. The crew interdicted six unseaworthy vessels carrying approximately 467 individuals of Cuban or Haitian origin and cared for more than 520 migrants aboard the cutter during a four-week time span while awaiting logistics for repatriation.
The crew also assisted in two search and rescue cases after receiving notification of an individual stranded on Anguilla Cay, Bahamas and another case where several people were stranded in the water near Cuban territorial waters.
“I remain in awe of this steadfast crew. They answered the call on multiple occasions during our patrol, ensuring safety of life at sea while preventing illegal entry into the United States,” said Cmdr. Ben Goff, commanding officer of the Harriet Lane. “This mission can take an emotional toll, but our team stuck together and persevered through every challenge and adversity presented. The crew shifted gears upon return to homeport and met the next challenge of readying Harriet Lane for an important maintenance upgrade cycle with aplomb. We are forever grateful for the outstanding support we receive across the Coast Guard and from our loved ones at home. I’m looking forward to getting our crew well-earned downtime with friends and family.”
Following this patrol, the vessel will undergo a nine-month planned maintenance and upgrade period at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore.
The Harriet Lane is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter responsible for a variety of missions, including search and rescue, drug interdiction, migrant interdiction, other law enforcement and marine environmental protection.
The U.S. Coast Guard national security and medium endurance vessels homeported on the East Coast operate under the ultimate authority of the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area commander located in Portsmouth, Virginia, overseeing all Coast Guard operations east of the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf.