Tuesday, October 29, 2019

USCGC Alex Haley Finishes Bering Sea Deployment

By Karen Robes Meeks

The US Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley recently came back to Kodiak, Alaska, following a 40-day deployment throughout the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. During that period, they patrolled 5,000 miles and conducted 13 at-sea boardings.

The crew of the 282-foot Medium Endurance cutter were deployed at the start of the 2019 Red King Crab season. They took part in several search and rescue operations, among them the medical evacuation of a crewmember from fishing vessel Alaska Victory after he was “exposed to a release of toxic ammonia refrigerant Sept. 28,” according to the USCG. The crew also went to St. Paul, Alaska, cleaned up a local lakefront and visited with community elders.

“The opportunity to patrol the Bering Sea during the highly visible Red King Crab season was tremendously rewarding and uniquely challenging,” Cmdr. Benjamin Golightly, Alex Haley’s commanding officer. “Between the rapid operational pace of fisheries boardings, the notorious unpredictability of the weather, and the fact that search and rescue cases can occur at any time, there was no shortage of challenges to be met by the crew. However, through their perseverance, high spirits, and unwavering dedication to service, Alex Haley's crewmembers exemplified professionalism and operational excellence in all they did. The product of their efforts can clearly be seen in the success we had this patrol.”