Coast Guard cutter Decisive back home after saving lives at sea - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coast Guard cutter Decisive back home after saving lives at sea

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

The Coast Guard Cutter Decisive returned home to Pascagoula Monday afternoon following a 31 day deployment patrolling the Straits of Florida. The deployment saved countless lives. Family members and friends were on hand to greet the ship and their heroes back home.

Docking the vessel takes time, as precise procedures have to be followed.  Coast Guard members anxiously wait high above the dock, blowing kisses to love ones on dry land.  Then it's time for the real thing.  

Despite this happy day, the mission of the Decisive was deadly serious: saving the lives of Cubans trying to come to America by sea, in anything that might float. 

Captain Teri Jordan is the Decisive's commanding officer.   

"In the middle of the night, one of my lookouts saw a light in the distance," Jordan recalled. "We went over there to check it out and it was ten Cubans. They were out of food, they were out of water, their vessel was sinking, and we were able to save their lives."  

Once they were plucked from the angry waters, the Cubans had to be cared for. Petty Officer 2nd class Sean Scully was in charge of that part of the operation.  

"We were making sure they don't have life threatening, as far as massive hemorrhaging or any kind of hypothermia or hyperthermia or anything," Scully said. "But as far as their general nourishment, we take pretty good care of them aboard the cutter Decisive. We give them good food, especially the women and children." 

Members of the crew know they did something special on this mission.  One of them is Lt. Amy Lockwood.  

"It's life affirming, because you look out there and you see the condition that these folks are in and realize how desperate they are to try and leave their country and try to come to the United States. So, in a way, it's heartbreaking, and it makes you realize how lucky you are," Lockwood said.

Despite the fact that these deployments out of station Pascagoula are relatively routine, these ships are gone about half the year. Family members who greet them at their welcome home ceremonies say they wouldn't miss it for the world. 

Patty Davis' husband is serving aboard the Decisive. 

"It's just a rush. It's a joy, a love that you have for your Coast Guard husband, or spouse, or whoever it is in the military."

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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