US Coast Guard Killed During Law Enforcement Operations Near Santa Cruz Island

Originally posted on CBS Los Angeles:

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A member of the U.S. Coast Guard died Sunday morning during law enforcement operations in Santa Barbara County.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our shipmate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, and his shipmates aboard Coast Guard Cutter Halibut,” Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert J. Papp said in a statement.

The Coast Guard Cutter Halibut was investigating a Mexican-style panga vessel, which officials suspected was involved with illicit activities.

The cutter deployed a small boat and began approaching the vessel.

The vessel, maneuvering at a high rate of speed, struck the Coast Guard’s small boat before fleeing the scene, officials said.

Two members of the Coast Guard were thrown from the boat; one suffered minor injuries while the other sustained a traumatic head injury.

The injured man was pronounced dead by emergency medical responders…

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