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CBP Air and Marine Operations P-3 Crew Locates Colombian Vessel in Distress

Release Date: 
October 30, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations aircrew out of Jacksonville, Florida assisted with a search and rescue mission in the Caribbean Sea for a disabled Colombian Navy patrol vessel.CBP Air and Marine operations assisted with a search and rescue mission.

On Oct. 15, a CBP crew aboard a P-3 Airborne Early Warning aircraft supporting Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF South) operations in the region responded to assist in a joint search for a missing Colombian vessel in international waters near Riohacha, Colombia.

The CBP P-3 agents used real-time surveillance systems to locate the vessel, immediately established communications with crewmembers onboard, and provided vectors to a cargo ship and task force partners in the area.

Four crewmembers aboard the disabled vessel were treated for severe dehydration by Colombian medical professionals.

The P-3 aircraft patrolling during the operation is based at AMO's National Air Security Operations Center in Jacksonville, Florida.

"Safety at sea is paramount and we're standing by to take quick action with local, state, federal and military partners when lives are on the line," said Director of National Air Security Operations Center - Jacksonville Robert Blanchard. "CBP's aerial surveillance capabilities based in Florida are critical to supporting broad interagency and international efforts in the maritime environment."

The Key West, Fla.-based Joint Interagency Task Force South is the National Task Force that serves as the catalyst for integrated and synchronized interagency counter-illicit trafficking operations, and is responsible for the detection and monitoring of suspect air and maritime drug activity in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the eastern Pacific. JIATF South also collects, processes, and disseminates counter drug information for interagency and partner nation operations. 

CBP P-3s patrol in a 42 million square mile area that includes more than 41 nations, the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and maritime approaches to the United States.

The mission of the CBP Air and Marine Operations is to serve and protect the American people. AMO lends critical capabilities and cohesion to an array of border security and maritime law enforcement efforts and uses its sophisticated fleets to detect, sort, intercept, track and apprehend criminals in diverse environments at and beyond U.S. borders.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Florida includes travel and trade facilitation and securing over 1,200 miles of the coastal border. Find out more and get real-time updates at @CBPFlorida on Twitter.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017