Port Angeles celebration planned for arrival of hero Coast Guard cutter

PORT ANGELES — The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Active will receive a hero’s welcome complete with a flyover, welcoming families and dignitaries and a water cannon salute Saturday.

The cutter and 74-member crew were involved in the largest drug seizure in maritime history May 3 when they seized 13 tons of cocaine from the 152-foot Svesda Maru, a Belize-flagged fishing vessel that was under way 1,700 miles south of San Diego.

Investigators believe the Svesda Maru intended to deliver the 26,397 pounds of cocaine to Central America or Mexico, where it would be smuggled by land into the United States.

The cutter and crew will return home to Port Angeles for the first time since participating in the drug seizure.

The public is invited to Saturday’s celebration.

Here’s the tentative schedule:

Noon

Landing’s Restaurant and Dockside Lounge and Port Angeles CrabHouse fire up outdoor food grills. Music begins.

1 p.m.

Radio KONP (AM 1450) begins broadcasting live from City Pier.

1:45 p.m.

Active will round Ediz Hook and be escorted across Port Angeles Harbor. Private yachts will join the escort to City Pier. As the cutter crosses the harbor, Foss tugs will fire a water cannon salute.

1:55 p.m.

Coast Guard helicopter flyover takes place as Active nears City Pier for its scheduled 2 p.m. docking.

2:15 p.m.

Families welcome crew members home.

2:30 p.m.

Port Angeles Mayor Larry Doyle proclaims the day in honor of the Active and presents keys to the city to the ship’s captain, Cmdr. Robert E. Reininger.

County Commissioner Mike Doherty, D-Port Angeles, makes a presentation.

Coast Guard Vice Adm. Ray Riutta will present a snowflake decal to Reininger.

Comments will follow from Coast Guard officials, Reininger and Active crew members.

More details appear in the Friday/Saturday editions of the Peninsula Daily News, on sale throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. Or click onto “Subscribe” to order your copy via U.S. mail.

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