MIAMI— U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Air and Marine Operations rescued four adults from a sinking vessel, approximately three nautical miles south of Marathon, Florida, Wednesday morning.
Two 41-foot Coastal Interceptor Vessels conducting boat training, overheard a mayday call on their radios. Occupants of the distressed vessel communicated that they were in a 26-foot center console and had four people on board. They stated that they were quickly taking on large amounts of water and in danger of sinking. Due to the proximity of the sinking vessel, both AMO Interceptors immediately terminated their training and proceeded to its location. Once on scene and with obvious signs that the vessel was likely going to sink, AMO agents safely embarked all passengers.
The AMO crews notified the U.S. Coast Guard, who arrived on scene shortly thereafter and began to dewater the sinking vessel. Eventually the vessel was safely towed back to a safe harbor.
“When someone is in distress, their safety and well-being come before their citizenship, nationality, or immigration status,” said Supervisory Marine Interdiction Agent, Robert Sellers. “The same resources used for border security are immediately directed to those in need”.
AMO safeguards our Nation by anticipating and confronting security threats through our aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise, innovative capabilities, and partnerships at the border and beyond. With federal agents and mission support personnel, aircraft, and marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO conducts its mission in the air and maritime environments at and beyond the border, and within the nation's interior.
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