December 19, 2018 – Coast Guard Cutter Thetis (WMEC-910) returned Wednesday to Key West after a 90-day patrol in support of Operations Southeast Watch and Unified Resolve in the Caribbean Sea in support of alien migrant interdiction operations.
The Thetis crew, along with other Coast Guard units, worked alongside the Puerto Rico Joint Forces of Rapid Action (FURA) to interdict and repatriate 219 migrants from the Dominican Republic and Haiti attempting to illegally enter the United States. While off the coast of Haiti, the cutter crew rescued six Jamaicans who were stranded at sea for three days with little food and water.
“The crew of the Thetis worked with the Haitian Coast Guard and National Police, the Dominican Republic Navy, the Cuban Border Guard, and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force as well as key United States agencies including the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, strengthening our domestic and international partnerships,” said Cmdr. Randall Chong, commanding officer of the cutter Thetis. “I’m very proud of my crew for our continued contributions to stopping the flow of illegal migrants while rescuing those without basic survival equipment who were found drifting in the ocean for several days.”
Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the Coast Guard and Master Chief Petty Officer Jason Vanderhaden, master chief petty officer of the Coast Guard, joined the crew for a Thanksgiving meal in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they expressed gratitude for crew’s sacrifices made while underway during patrol. The commandant specially recognized several crewmembers for their commitment to excellence and for exemplifying his guiding principles: ready, relevant and responsive.
The cutter Thetis is a 270-foot famous-class cutter, homeported in Key West and has a crew of 100.