Coast Guard Boards 28 Vessels in 58 Days; Saves 3 Boats
The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma returned to its homeport of Kittery, Maine on Tuesday after a 58-day fisheries patrol in the Northern Atlantic.
Over an eight-week patrol, the Tahoma and its crew conducted 28 at-sea law enforcement boardings, inspecting commercial fishing vessels for gear, catch limits, and safety equipment. They found eight vessels in violation of the rules, according to a news release.
"The U.S. Coast Guard is committed to combating illegal fishing in New England," stated Rear Admiral Tom Allan, the 1st District Commander. "Illegally caught or misreported fish entering the marketplace puts the livelihood of honest fishermen at risk."
Tahoma is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter with a crew of 100 that conducts maritime enforcement and homeland security missions throughout the Western Hemisphere. The crew ensures the safety of life at sea and protects the sustainability of fisheries, the Boston-based 1st District said.
The Tahoma on its latest Northeast patrol also conducted search-and-rescue missions. For instance, the Tahoma diverted to assist the fishing vessel Angela Michelle, safely bringing it into port with assistance from Coast Guard Station Gloucester.
"The search and rescue cases we've had reminded me of why I joined the Coast Guard--to save lives," said Patrick Byrne, lead seaman of Tahoma. "The beginning of the patrol seemed to be slow, but as we got called on each case, the reason for why we're out here became more evident."
In mid-December, the crew helped the New Bedford fishing vessel Fearless when the boat was disabled 170 nautical miles east of Nantucket. The Tahoma towed the vessel 260 nautical miles over five days until relieved by a commercial tug near Buzzards Bay.
"When a ship has a crew that can do anything you need them to do, it makes life very easy." said commanding officer Eric Johnson at the time. "Apparently, Fearless also falls into that category. The crew quickly and expertly set the tow and were proactive about monitoring it and communicating during the transit."
"Us being out here makes a difference," said Byrne. "We're able to make sure crews of the fishing vessels like the Angela Michelle and the Fearless return home safely to their families for holidays."
Back in March of 2020, the Tahoma seized approximately 700 pounds of cocaine, valued at $12.5 million, while on patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean on a 70-day counter-drug patrol.