U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Sherman is scheduled to return to homeport in San Diego from an 85-day patrol in the Bering Sea, Friday.
During the patrol, the Sherman’s crew enforced fisheries laws, performed search and rescue missions, participated in Fleet Week San Francisco and visited historic battlefields on Attu Island, Alaska.
A special event kicked off the patrol that allowed family members of the crew to sail aboard the cutter from San Diego to San Francisco to witness what their loved ones do firsthand. Thirty-six family members participated in the occasion, shadowing their relatives as they did their shipboard jobs.
While in San Francisco, the Sherman represented the Coast Guard in Fleet Week 2012, and participated in the parade of ships, community service events, a physical fitness competition, and hosted public tours of the ship.
Following Fleet Week, the Sherman traveled up to the Bering Sea where the crew conducted 20 boardings of commercial fishing vessels to check for safety and compliance with federal regulations. During the first boarding of the patrol, the boarding team discovered marijuana aboard the fishing boat, resulting in a rare drug bust in Alaska.
The crew also visited Attu Island, Alaska, the site of a Japanese invasion in 1942. This was especially significant for one crewmember, Chief Petty Officer Shane Melott, whose grandfather helped retake the island as a civilian engineer during World War II.
“It’s pretty amazing to be able to visit the island, knowing that no one else in my family, beside my grandfather, has ever been there,” Melott said.
The 44-year-old Sherman and the other Secretary-class, high endurance cutters, are being replaced by the Legend-class, national security cutters (NSCs). The NCSs are better equipped, more durable, safer, and more efficient than their predecessor, and will allow the Coast Guard to deliver its unique blend of military capability, law enforcement authority, and lifesaving expertise wherever needed to protect American interests, today and for decades to come.