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My Coast Guard
Commentary | Aug. 19, 2021

Frontline Focus: Coast Guard rescues 48 Haitian migrants abandoned by smugglers and stranded on Monito Island, Puerto Rico, and more. 

By Janki Patel, MyCG Writer

Coast Guard rescues 48 Haitian migrants abandoned by smugglers and stranded on Monito Island, Puerto Rico. On August 12, Coast Guard and Puerto Rican police crews rescued 48 Haitian migrants stranded on Monito Cay, Puerto Rico in the Mona Passage. “This was a very complex rescue and the migrants were in pretty bad shape after being abandoned by smugglers in this austere and highly dangerous environment,” said Lt. Benjamin Williamsz, Coast Guard Cutter Winslow Griesser commanding officer. “The Winslow Griesser crew performed superbly while working with our Puerto Rico Police and Border patrol partners, in rescuing and saving the migrants from the cliff’s edge and jagged rocks and bringing them to the safety of the cutter.” The migrants were transported to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where they were transferred to awaiting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agents, who rendered assistance to the migrants, along with emergency medical service personnel at the scene. Learn more

Coast Guard medevacs man from vessel near Cold Bay, Alaska. On August 12, Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew medevaced a mariner from the bulk carrier Restinga. The aircrew safely transported the 42-year-old male to Dutch Harbor, where they conducted a wing-to-wing transfer with a LifeMed crew, who then transported him to Anchorage, Alaska for further care. Learn more.

Coast Guard Cutter Finback shifts homeport to Portland, Maine, Aug. 11. The Coast Guard Cutter Finback is a coastal patrol boat with a crew of 11 men and women whose area of operations ranges from Sandy Hook, New Jersey to the Maine/Canadian border. The crew will significantly increase the Coast Guard’s operational presence and maximize logistical support in Portland, and will continue to aid in maritime law enforcement, ports and waterways, coastal security, marine environmental protection, and commercial vessel safety mission sets. The Finback is one of the most advanced coastal patrol boats in the world and will help the Coast Guard remain the world’s premier maritime organization for many years to come. Learn more

Coast Guard Cutter Midgett holds change of command ceremony. On August 11, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett bid farewell to Capt. Alan McCabe and welcomed Capt. Willie Carmichael as the new commanding officer during a change of command ceremony at Alameda, California. McCabe departs the cutter after a two-year tenure to continue his career as the 17th District Response Division Chief in Juneau, Alaska. Carmichael most recently commanded the Coast Guard Patrol Forces Southwest Asia operating in the Middle East. The Midgett was commissioned Aug. 24, 2019, and serves as one of eight operating national security cutters in the Coast Guard. The legend class national security cutter is the largest and most technologically advanced class of cutter in the Coast Guard fleet. Learn more.

Coast Guard, County of Kauai partners complete successful search and rescue exercise off Kauai, Honolulu. On August 12, the exercise simulated a multi-agency response to the report of an overdue kayaker who failed to show up to work after a morning paddle. “Nothing builds great working relationships between partners better than exercises such as this,” said Chief Petty Officer Timothy Elhajj, the officer in charge of Coast Guard Station Kauai. “These exercises are great because they allow us to work with our counterparts in a training environment allowing us to be better prepared for real world events in the future.” The partners set up an incident command post at Hanapepe Stadium Park and coordinated the searching assets while testing communication systems and strategies between the partners. Learn more