US Coast Guard cutter Escanaba returns from Caribbean patrol

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba returned to Boston Wednesday following a 48-day Caribbean patrol.

According to the U.S. Coast Gurd, the crew’s primary mission during the patrol was the prevention of illegal migration from both the nations of Cuba and Haiti, and they repatriated more than 50 Cuban migrants who were stopped from entering the United States illegally.

Escanaba’s crew also responded to two search and rescue missions, saving 18 lives at sea. During one of the cases, Escanaba deployed a small-boat crew to help rescue six people aboard a boat taking on water 30 miles south of Great Inagua Island, Bahamas. The small-boat crew provided the six people a dewatering pump, lifejackets, and escorted them safely to shore.

“Our success this patrol was a true testament to the hard work and adaptability of the crew,” said Cmdr. Patrick Peschka, Escanaba’s commanding officer. “Their teamwork and spirit through several long days and nights resulted in the effective disruption in the flow of illegal migrants into the United States, and the dedication and professionalism of the crew strengthened our relationship with the Haitian government.”

While off the coast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the cutter also hosted Massachusetts native Brian Shukan, deputy chief of mission to the Haitian government, and Michel-Ange Gedeon, director general of the Haitian National Police.

Commissioned in 1987, the Escanaba has a crew of 100. The crew’s primary missions are drug interdiction, living marine resources, migrant interdiction, marine environmental protection, and search and rescue.