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HomeNewsArchivesCoast Guard Assigns New Cutter to V.I. Patrol

Coast Guard Assigns New Cutter to V.I. Patrol

Dec. 29, 2008 — The U.S. Virgin Islands will get its own Coast Guard presence in early 2009 when the brand-spanking-new Cutter Reef Shark is assigned to the territory.
A statement from Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen Saturday indicated that the Cutter Reef Shark will be involved in search and rescue, law enforcement, maritime homeland security and fisheries/marine sanctuary patrols, as well as illegal drug and alien migrant interdiction duties off the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
“I was extremely excited to learn that the Coast Guard Cutter REEF SHARK is nearing the final stages of construction in Louisiana and is expected to be commissioned in late February with its primary focus being patrolling the waters off the U.S. Virgin Islands," Christensen said in the statement.
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Christensen had pushed Coast Guard officials to establish a stronger presence in Virgin Islands with legislation asking for a border patrol specifically for the territory. In April, the committee visited the territory and an interagency Department of Homeland Security report concluded a stronger presence was needed here.
Rear Admiral R.S. Branham of the Coast Guard invited Christensen to be the vessel’s sponsor and to give the keynote speech at its formal commissioning ceremony. The Reef Shark will homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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