After 69 days spent traveling 8,000 miles, St. Petersburg Coast Guard members are arrived back in Pinellas County Monday.
The Coast Guard members delivered 150,000 pounds of relief supplies, 7,000 gallons of fuel and 5,500 gallons of water to people in PR. Our local coast guard members even helped fix main water pumps so that hospitals, homes, and businesses could finally get water.
The crew and their ship, Venturous, helped rescue and search for people injured after hurricanes Irma and Maria and helped guide ships with donated supplies to the people in need in San Juan, Ponce, Fajardo, Culebra and Vieques.
"Our crew was devoted to assisting the people of Puerto Rico in any way they could," said Ensign Benjamin Chapman, a crewmember aboard the Venturous. “The crew even graciously donated about 700 pounds of food from the cutter’s rations and 500 pounds of food from their personal supplies aboard, to aid the citizens of Puerto Rico.”
Venturous engineers also assisted ashore in Puerto Rico to troubleshoot mechanical equipment and repair generators and pumps.
They returned Monday to a crowd of wives, kids, friends and even beloved pets. Many of the Coast Guard member's children made signs to welcome them home.
“During this patrol, the men and women of Venturous showed their best through their ingenuity, compassion, and selflessness, aiding in the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Cmdr. Matt Chong, the Venturous’ commanding officer. “This is why many of us joined the Coast Guard, to help others. I am so proud of the work we did together and I am continually reminded that regardless of the challenge, our talented Coast Guard men and women are always ready and always willing to provide help to those in need.”