U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Venturous (WMEC 625) crew returned to their homeport in St. Petersburg, Friday, after a 60-day Caribbean patrol supporting Homeland Security Task Force – Southeast’s Operation Vigilant Sentry and Joint Interagency Task Force – South’s counterdrug missions.

While on patrol, the crew of Venturous repatriated 65 migrants. The migrants were safely transferred to Venturous from Coast Guard cutters Dauntless, Forward and Vigilant. Aboard Venturous, the migrants were given food, water, and basic medical care before being repatriated to the Haitian coast guard in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti.

Venturous patrolled the South Florida Straits and Windward Passage within the Coast Guard Seventh District’s area of responsibility to conduct maritime safety and security missions while working to detect, deter, and intercept unsafe and unlawful migrant ventures bound for the United States.

The Venturous also hosted the commandant and chief of naval operations of the Dominican navy during their port call in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to discuss capabilities, training, and partnerships in the region.

“Our highest priority is to prevent the tragic loss of life at sea,” said Cmdr. Karen L. Kutkiewicz, commanding officer of Venturous. “Often, interdicting migrants attempting to illegally enter the southeast maritime border turns into urgent rescue when homemade, overloaded, and dangerously unsafe vessels attempt passage. This mission is challenging both mentally and physically on our crew. I am proud of the crew’s care and professionalism displayed in this humanitarian mission.”

OVS was first established in 2004 as the operational plan to prevent, deter, prepare for, respond to, and recover from maritime migration events in the Caribbean.

Venturous is a 210-foot Reliance-class medium endurance cutter. The cutter’s primary missions are counter drug operations, migrant interdiction, and search and rescue in support of U.S. Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.