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Press Release | May 11, 2023

USCGC Thetis returns home following 66-day multi-mission Caribbean Sea patrol

KEY WEST, Fla. – The crew of the USCGC Thetis (WMEC 910) returned to their home port in Key West, Thursday, following a 66-day patrol in the Florida Straits and Caribbean Sea.  

Thetis’ crew contributed to the interdiction, care and repatriation of 125 migrants from Haiti and Cuba while patrolling the Seventh Coast Guard District’s area of responsibility in support of Operation Vigilant Sentry and Homeland Security Taskforce — Southeast. 

During the patrol, Thetis’ crew rescued 31 Cuban migrants from an overcrowded, adrift and homemade vessel in the South Florida Straits. The boarding team safely embarked the migrants aboard Thetis, where Petty Officer 1st Class William Ice, a health services technician assigned to Thetis, provided a lifesaving emergency procedure for one of the migrants. During another case, Thetis watch standers spotted a Haitian sailboat in distress and provided rescue assistance to the 13 Haitians. 

Additionally, working with Bahamian Customs Department, Thetis safely returned 54 Haitian migrants to their point of departure in the Bahamas after their overcrowded and unseaworthy vessel was intercepted in transit to West Palm Beach, Florida. 

“I am so proud of the crew’s hard work and professionalism this patrol,” said Cmdr. Gavin Garcia, commanding officer of Thetis. “It takes a great deal of teamwork within the ship as well as coordination with other organizations to meet the demands of two of the Coast Guard’s main missions in the South Florida Straits: search and rescue and maritime law enforcement.”   

Thetis is a 270-foot Famous-class medium endurance cutter. The cutter’s primary missions are counter-narcotics operations, migrant interdiction, living marine resources protection, and search and rescue in support of U.S. Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.