BELLINGHAM, Wash.— Marine Interdiction Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (AMO) rescued a sailor who was clinging to a capsized vessel in Bellingham Bay on Sunday afternoon.
The rescue occurred when an AMO 38-foot SAFE Boat crew assigned to the Bellingham Air and Marine Branch, Bellingham Marine Unit, responded to a search-and-rescue report from the U.S. Coast Guard communicating that a person was in the water near a sailboat that had been de-masted after capsizing in rough seas.
The AMO crew responded to the scene, rescued the sailor and brought him aboard their vessel. An AMO Emergency Medical Technician treated the sailor for hypothermia and conducted a medical assessment. The sailor did not request any further medical assistance and the crew transported him and the vessel safely to Fair Haven public dock.
“Our agents remain vigilant in detecting smuggling threats to the homeland but when we encounter individuals in distress, that becomes our first priority,” said Mike Marcinko, Deputy Director of Marine Operations, at the Bellingham Air and Marine Branch.
AMO interdicts unlawful people and cargo approaching U.S. borders, investigates criminal networks, provides domain awareness in the air and maritime environments, and responds to contingencies and national taskings.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection 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.