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Coast Guard briefs

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From AP and Coast Guard reports

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Human smuggling

suspected in case

MIAMI - The Coast Guard completed a transfer of 24 people involved in a suspected human smuggling case on Nov. 26 to U.S. Border Patrol agents in Lake Worth for processing, and to Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.

The Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet, Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations intercepted a 25-foot center console boat approximately 9 miles east of West Palm Beach.

The suspected smugglers are reportedly one U.S. citizen and one Bahamian. The passengers included six Haitians, six Ecuadorians, four Chinese, three Bolivians, two Azerbaijanis and one Dominican.

Approximately 45 miles separate the South Florida and Bahamian coasts. The area in between is constantly patrolled by the Coast Guard, and Air and Marine Operations partners to detect, deter and stop illegal smuggling ventures.

CG assists boater

off Hatteras Island

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard assisted a man aboard a boat taking on water off Hatteras Island Nov. 26

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center in Wilmington received notification at 1:35 p.m. that a 46-foot sailboat, with one man aboard, was taking on water about 13 miles east of Hatteras Inlet.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City and Coast Guard 29-foot Response Boat-Small and 47-foot Motor Life Boat crews from Station Hatteras Inlet were launched to assist.

Once on scene, the MLB crew transferred two personnel and a dewatering pump to the sailboat. One of the Station Hatteras Inlet personnel provided first aid to the man, who had suffered lacerations to his arm while trying to repair his vessel.

The dewatering pump helped keep up with the flooding while the MLB crew towed the boat to Oden’s Dock on Hatteras Island.

Traverse City chosen

to host aviation group

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.—Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City personnel will host members of the Coast Guard Aviation Association, also known as the Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl, Sept. 6-9, 2018.

On Nov. 9, the national chapter of the Coast Guard Aviation Association selected Traverse City as the location for the annual conference, colloquially called the “roost”, in recognition of the air station's busy 2017 boating season.

Of note during the 2017 boating season, the air station's crews began the season with a major asset reallocation program that brought three MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters to Traverse City and sent the unit’s four MH-65 Dolphins to new air stations.

The Great Lakes region has already benefitted from the new airframes, which have the capability to respond to incidents across the region without the need to re-fuel en route conducting missions as far away as Duluth, Minnesota or Chicago Illinois to the eastern shore of Lake Ontario.

Commander fined

after killing bear

KODIAK, Alaska — The commanding officer of Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak was fined after pleading guilty to a noncriminal charge of shooting a brown bear out of season.

Mark Morin was fined $310 after authorities said he accidentally shot the bear while attempting to scare it off during an elk hunting trip in September, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Nov. 24.

"The whole thing was an accident and was very unfortunate, and I wish it never happened," Morin said.

Morin was at a cabin on Afognak Island when four bears approached, a sow brown bear and three older cubs. Morin attempted to scare the animals off by banging on a window, and then he decided to fire warning shots from his rifle, according to court documents.

The first shot didn't faze the bears, so fired again. Morin said the third shot struck a cub, killing the bear.

The other bears stayed near the cabin, and later they began covering the cub with brush and grass, Morin said. He intended to salvage the hide, skull and claws, but the bears stayed throughout the night.

The next morning, Morin saw the other bears eating the dead cub. Morin photographed the scene and later informed authorities, according to court documents.

"It was a pretty significant emotional event, very traumatic," Morin said. "I've never had this happen before."

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