Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell visits “Gateway to the Bahamas”

Written by Fireman Juan Bauza-Poland.

Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell anchored off the coast of Bimini, known as the "Gateway to the Bahamas." U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell anchored off the coast of Bimini, known as the “Gateway to the Bahamas.” U.S. Coast Guard photo.

With eight of the top 10 most violent nations residing in the Western Hemisphere and transnational organized crime networks acting as non-state actors in the area, relationships between America’s military services and law enforcement agencies with their counterparts throughout the region are more important than ever. And, every Coast Guard port call is an opportunity to build and nurture those critical partnerships.

Last week, Coast Guard cutter Margaret Norvell, a fast response cutter homeported in Miami, became the first Coast Guard cutter to visit the Bahamian Island of Bimini. The Margaret Novell anchored off Bimini, known as the “Gateway to the Bahamas,” and embarked local Bahamian officials as part of a two-day two professional exchange with civil and military authorities.

Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell hosts dignitaries from Bimini as well as representatives of the Bahamas Royal Police Force and Bahamas Defence Force. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guard Cutter Margaret Norvell hosts dignitaries from Bimini as well as representatives of the Bahamas Royal Police Force and Bahamas Defence Force. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

“This visit was a great opportunity to showcase the important roles and capabilities of the Coast Guard and foster great relations with our foreign partners,” said Lt. Kirk Fistick, the cutter’s commanding officer.

The cutter hosted local Bimini administrators, representatives of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Bahamas Customs commissioner and other dignitaries. Once onboard, they toured the cutter showcasing Coast Guard daily operations and highlighting the technological upgrades and improved capabilities of the fast response cutter class.

The crew of the Margaret Norvell also welcomed the Bimini’s Royal Bahamas Defence Force detachment aboard for a familiarization of the fast respionse cutter. The crews discussed unique regional challenges to Bimini including narcotics trafficking and increased illegal maritime migration.

“I’m always impressed with the high level of dedication and professionalism displayed by Coast Guard crews when visiting foreign ports,” said Fistick. “I hope we can return to Bimini harbor very soon.”

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