One of the US Coast Guard newest vessels docked in Montevideo early Monday looking for supplies and fuel, but given the strict sanitary isolation measures no member of the crew will be disembarking or anybody visiting the vessel.
USCG Stone, under the command of Captain Adam G Morrison arrived from Brazil and is heading for the South Atlantic.
According to a brief report from the Uruguayan Navy, USCG Stone left Pascagoula, Mississippi and after calling at Guyana and Brazil is heading further south and the original objective of the tour was to participate in joint operations of illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing.
However both Uruguay and Argentina thanked the US Coast Guard for its effort but recalled that it is a task, responsibility of the local coast guards. Apparently the US is much interested in the activities of the Chinese fishing vessels, and their involvement in IUU fishing operations. Only recently a huge Chinese fleet of several hundred vessels sailed along the Pacific coast of South America to the surprise of Ecuador, Peru and Chile, all of them countries with significant marine resources and fleets.
USCG Stone is the ninth cutter of the Legend Class, and one of the most modern. It is some 127 meters long, displaces some 4,500 tons and has a cruise speed of up to 28 knots. The crew is made up of some 120, between officers, sailors and civilian staff.
Since her delivery in November 2019, USCG Stone has been patrolling the Caribbean, successfully for drugs, and this latest operation is called Southern Cross.
Besides the normal protocol, friendly relations and promoting cooperation the visit pretends to reinforce regional maritime capability particularly regarding unreported, unregulated, illegal fishing, following international rules, and to help developing countries defend their resources and the local industry.