The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Active has been back at its home port of Port Angeles for about a month now, but please accept a belated thank you from a grateful landlubber.
The 74 men and women aboard Active, led by Cmdr. Philip Crigler, returned from a 70-day patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, 140 miles off the coast of Panama. They were part of counter drug enforcement efforts to keep illegal drugs out of the United States.
The U.S. Coast Guard reports the crew conducted multiple at-sea searches. Pointed toward a suspect Panamanian vessel by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection P-3 aircraft, one boarding recovered 40 burlap sacks filled with an estimated 2,300 pounds of cocaine. The ship, contraband and five suspected smugglers were turned over to Panamanian authorities.
In the midst of their 11,500 mile patrol, the crew members also used some time ashore in Puerto Vallarta to help build a playground at a local children’s cancer center.
Active, also known by the nickname Li’l Tough Guy, is doing the kind of solid work that seldom receives the acknowledgment and gratitude it deserves.
By the way, the Coast Guard needs a new icebreaker as its duties predictably expand as the Arctic opens up.