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    Hawaii-Based ‘Indo-Pacific Support Cutter’ Focused on Oceania Is on Its First Pacific Deployment

    Hawaii-Based ‘Indo-Pacific Support Cutter’ Focused on Oceania Is on Its First Pacific Deployment

    ABOARD THE CUTTER HARRIET LANE—It was a hot, humid and cloudy day in the South Pacific as the U.S. Coast Guard's Cutter Harriet Lane pulled into port in Apia, Samoa, earlier this month.

    It was the second stop for the 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter—known as “270s “—in its role as the Coast Guard's “Indo-Pacific Support Cutter ” devoted to operations in Oceania.

    The nearly 40-year-old ship arrived in Hawaii in December after undergoing over a year's worth of renovations at a Baltimore shipyard. In January it set sail for its first Pacific deployment, heading south into the high seas where members of its crew boarded fishing vessels to look for signs of illegal fishing.

    It had made a quick stop in American Samoa before heading west into Samoan waters, where Lane's crew picked up and worked with Samoan law enforcement officials aboard as “ship riders ” for several days, allowing the Samoans to use Lane's resources and its crew to board fishing vessels within their own jurisdiction through an agreement with the U.S. government.

    In Apia, the Lane was supposed to drop off the Samoan ship riders, resupply and send members of its crew shore-side for a series of community service projects and outreach with other Samoan officials.

    But as the ship moored at the pier, powerful swells and surf in the raised alarm bells for officers and crew aboard. A storm system was passing through and it could be felt in the seas. The ropes…

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