Coast Guard cutter returns to Charleston after final mission

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin will return to Charleston Wednesday morning for the final time as an active patrol vessel for the Coast Guard.

The ship is coming off a 72-day patrol that included an emergency evacuation of a member of the Cutter Resolute's crew and more than 1,000 kilos of cocaine valued at nearly $34 million in a trio of seizures.

The Gallatin made stops in Guantanamo bay, Bocas Del Toro and Key West during its patrol.

The cutter will be decommissioned in March 2014 and be replaced by the Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton, the first East Coast National Security Cutter, officials said Tuesday.

The Gallatin was commissioned in 1968.

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