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NEWS | June 24, 2022

Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast Returns Home After 55-day Counter Narcotics Patrol

By U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area U.S. Coast Guard

ASTORIA, Ore. — The United States Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC 623) returned to homeport Saturday following a 55-day counter narcotics deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The 210-foot medium endurance cutter and crew covered more than 11,000 miles conducting law enforcement and search-and-rescue operations in international waters off Central America from Mexico to Costa Rica.

The Steadfast deployed with a MH-65E helicopter and aviation detachment from Air Station Port Angeles, Washington, and with additional crew members from the Tactical Law Enforcement Team Pacific, Electronics Support Detachment Detroit, Coast Guard Base Galveston, and three U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets.

The crew of the Steadfast also worked with Mexican law enforcement assets on two occasions, to locate, track, and interdict fast-moving drug smuggling vessels, resulting in the seizure of 2,747 kilograms of cocaine by Mexican authorities, valued at $109 million.

While transiting South of Mexico, Steadfast’s bridge team sighted a disabled and adrift open-hull vessel with two Mexican adult males waving life jackets. Steadfast approached the vessel to investigate and determine the nature of distress. The imperiled mariners stated that they were fishermen who had been adrift for 23 days after their vessel had been beset by weather. Steadfast embarked both persons, provided meals and medical care, and returned them safely back to Mexico.

This patrol was the last for Cmdr. Craig Allen Jr, who has served as the Steadfast’s commanding officer since July 2020. A change-of-command ceremony is scheduled to take place in front of the Columbia River Maritime Museum on July 22, 2022.

Steadfast is a 54-year-old Reliance Class cutter that has been homeported in Astoria since 1994. Previously, Steadfast was homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida where she earned the nickname "El Tiburon Blanco," (“White Shark") from drug smugglers for her notoriety in counter-narcotics operations in the Florida Straits and Caribbean Sea.

For further information please contact Steadfast’s Public Affairs Officer, ENS Geoffrey DeLorie (Geoffrey.M.Delorie@uscg.mil)

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