CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Hamilton on Wednesday returned to Charleston following a 72-day patrol of the Eastern Pacific.
They crew deployed for a counter-narcotics patrol in September, but pivoted to “alien migration interdiction in the Windward Pass” following political disruption in Haiti.
During that time, the USCGC Hamilton crew interdicted 199 Haitian migrants. Along with seven other USCG cutters under Hamilton’s management, Haitian migration was reduced by 93% with no loss of life.
The crew also rescued two people and, in pursuit of its original mission, seized 26,250 pounds of cocaine and detained 14 suspects. This deployment’s drug interdiction was the largest in the ship’s history, worth approximately $504 million.
Captain Matthew Brown, Hamilton’s commanding officer, said that “every day brought new challenges, but also new opportunities for [the] crew to come together and solve complex problems.” After a successful deployment, he says that the crew is “thrilled to be back in the Lowcountry in time for the holidays.”