MIAMI — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations responded Wednesday morning to a boater in distress in high seas approximately 30 miles southwest of Marathon, Florida.
CBP Miami Air and Marine Branch personnel aboard an AMO DHC-8 aircraft observed a man onboard a vessel without fishing gear and binding his legs together. The CBP crew quickly relayed information to the Key West Marine Unit, U.S. Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and law enforcement partner agencies operating in the area to do a welfare check on the man. While communicating with maritime law enforcement partners, AMO learned that the individual was reportedly suicidal.
The man was taken into custody by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office after returning to Summerland Key. CBP Air and Marine Operations maintains an active and fully engaged cadre of coastal patrol vessels and aircraft aggressively patrolling the Florida coastline.
“Safety of life at sea is always the top priority and we’ll continue to assist boaters in distress,” said William Gibbon, Director of CBP’s Miami Air and Marine Branch. “Securing the maritime border against all threats and serving and protecting the American people is our mission.”
AMO's specialized law enforcement capabilities allow AMO to make significant contributions to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts, as well as to federal, state, local and tribal agencies. AMO conducts its mission between ports of entry, in the maritime environment and within the nation’s interior.
Community involvement is extremely important to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s mission. CBP asks you to report suspicious activities through 1-800-BE-ALERT or the after-hours toll-free number, 1-800-562-5943.
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.
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.