Gulfport, Miss. — While conducting a maritime border security patrol near Orange Beach, Al., a U.S. Customs and Border Protection marine unit vessel and crew assigned to the Gulfport Station rescued a mariner stranded atop his capsized boat.
Around 10:50 p.m., agents received a distress call from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) that a vessel had capsized. At that time the CBP vessel was near the entrance to Mobile Bay in the Mobile Ship Channel several miles from the reported location, but notified the Coast Guard that they would divert from their patrol mission to address the potential emergency and provide assistance.
Agents arrived to find one person on top of a capsized vessel bearing an Alabama registration. After rescue, the subject was placed on board the CBP vessel. The individual was offered first aid but he declined any medical assistance.
CBP personnel remained at the capsized vessel until the Coast Guard arrived and took control of the vessel. Agents then transported the subject to the U.S. Coast Guard Station Dauphin Island, Al., and at approximately 11:45p.m. the individual was turned over to USCG personnel.
“This rescue effort is a perfect example of how CBP Air and Marine works side-by-side our sister DHS components,” said Tony Arevalo, Director of Marine Operations New Orleans Air and Marine Branch. “The timely and successful outcome of this unexpected search and rescue mission illustrates the advantages of leveraging DHS resources to accomplish a mission.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.