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Cutter Escanaba Home after Nabbing Cocaine, Heroin Drug Traffickers

  • Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba's small boat crew tows an interdicted vessel during a patrol of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo)
    Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba's small boat crew tows an interdicted vessel during a patrol of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Coast Guard Photo)
  • A Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba crewmember frees an entangled Leatherback sea turtle from fishing gear while on patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Escanaba's crew spotted and freed four Leatherback sea turtles during the patrol. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
    A Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba crewmember frees an entangled Leatherback sea turtle from fishing gear while on patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Escanaba's crew spotted and freed four Leatherback sea turtles during the patrol. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

BOSTON — The Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba is scheduled to returned to its homeport in Boston, Sunday following a 70-day patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

During its 12,000 nautical mile patrol, the Escanaba interdicted over 1,200 kilograms of cocaine, 20 kilograms of heroin, and seven suspected narcotics traffickers.

They also worked with a Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron to pursue and board six vessels of interest.

Escanaba’s crew also responded to a search and rescue case off the coast of Mayport, Florida, assisting three people in acquiring a commercial towing service after they lost communications and ran out of gas.

In addition to conducting extensive drug interdiction operations, crewmembers spotted and freed four Leatherback sea turtles that had become entangled in fishing gear.

"Our success this patrol was a true testament to the hard work and dedication of the crew," said Cmdr. Patrick F. Peschka, commanding officer of the Escanaba. "Their team work and resilience through several long days and nights resulted in the effective disruption in the flow of illegal trafficking in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. They should be extremely proud of what they have accomplished over these two months."

The 270-foot Escanaba is a Medium Endurance Cutter with a crew of 100. The Escanaba was commissioned into Coast Guard service Aug. 29, 1987. Nearing its 30th year of service, Escanaba and the other 26 aging medium endurance cutters are slated for replacement by the new Offshore Patrol Cutter.

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