Coast Guard Cutter Crew Rescues 171 Haitian Migrants

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Updated: 12/05/2013 9:51 pm
Brenton Nash, a Maritime Enforcement Specialist, was on patrol on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter, Decisive, when the crew rescued 171 Haitian migrants from an overloaded vessel. Nash says, "It's overwhelming at first when you see that many people on such a small boat trying to get to a better life." Coast Guard air crews first detected an unseaworthy and overloaded vessel. The Decisive then stopped the ship. Small boat crews worked through the night to safely remove the Haitian immigrants. First Lieutenant Dion Williams was steering the ship during the rescue. Williams says, "I knew going into it that it would be pretty hard. It was a night operation, which is extremely dangerous. We have an awesome crew, trained and effective and efficient we got the job done safely and saved 171 lives." The Decisive is a 210 foot ship and holds 75 people. The 171 Haitian migrants were on a vessel with only 40 feet of space.

Kjeil Rommerdahl, the Operations Officer, says, "What it comes down to is the safety of at life at sea. When we come across ships like that, we don't think of them as migrants, but people that need rescuing. When they come on board, we give them food, shelter, medical attention. They're just ecstatic to be on board." Nash and Williams, along with the rest of the crew go out for 30 day patrols, keeping waters safe. The Cutter Decisive is now at its homeport in Pascagoula for routine maintenance.
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