What the Coast Guard does at Otis

Flying from Mashpee to Haiti for a bale of grass

A boarding team from the new Coast Guard Cutter Shamal prepares to board a smuggling go-fast they stopped 150 miles south of the Dominican Republic with shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Working in tandem with the Dominican Republic Navy, a Coast Guard jet from Air Station Cape Cod alerted the nearest U.S. Coast Guard ship in the are which happened to be the Shamal, a 179-foot Patrol Coastal recently leased from the U.S. Navy to provide resource support to the Coast Guard while it increases its inventory of 87-foot patrol boats.

Special to capecodtoday by Walter Brooks


hile the Pentagon is trying to convince Congress and the rest of us that pulling the 102nd Wing out of Otis AFB which would effectively close the air base, the Coast Guard is also trying to educate us why they must remain.

The CG is now releasing photos of Caribbean drug busts from as long along at January 2004 as these photos attest. While flying from Mashpee to Haiti to co:ordinate operations may seem a stretch to some, these aircraft routinely cover that kind of distance over the Atlantic to our east as well.

And the Coast Guard's more mundane chore of saving local mariner's lives was illustrated by this USCG press relase earlier this year when a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod rescued four fisherman from the Cape May based fishing boat, Enterprise, two miles east of Nantucket, see the story here.

Crewmen from the Coast Guard Cutter Shamal recovered more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana a day after stopping the go-fast smuggling boat shown above which was believed to have been jettisoned the pot. The six suspected smugglers shown in the photo at the top of the page were transferred to authorities from the Dominican Republic for possible prosecution. The drugs were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Last January was Shamal's first Coast Guard operational patrol since being turned over to the Coast Guard by the U.S. Navy as part of a lease program.

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