SAINT AUGUSTINE, Fla.— Four United States citizens, clinging on to an overturned vessel, were spotted by an Air and Marine Operations (AMO) crew that had just departed the National Marine Training Center (NMTC) in Saint Augustine, Florida yesterday. The crew was enroute to conduct training when they noticed and quickly responded to the rescue situation. Breaking waves were pounding the vessel and the individuals just outside the Saint Augustine inlet. The AMO crew, aboard a 38-foot Secure Around Flotation Equipped (SAFE) Boat, maneuvered close enough to the vessel, where they successfully tossed life jackets to each of the four individuals.
The crew was able to pull each person onboard the AMO vessel by using a life ring. All individuals seemed uninjured and were transported to an awaiting fire rescue vessel that arrived at the scene.
“I am incredibly proud of the lifesaving efforts of our agents today. Four people are safe because of the training and dedication of NMTC Instructors, students, and agents,” said Director of National Marine Training Center Allen Gustafson. “It is the responsibility of all mariners to respond to vessels in distress. In the performance of our mission safeguarding the maritime border of the U.S., AMO Marine Agents are always equipped and prepared to respond.”
AMO is a federal law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the American people through advanced aeronautical and maritime capabilities. AMO interdicts unlawful people and cargo approaching U.S. borders, investigates criminal networks and provides domain awareness in the air and maritime environments, and responds to contingencies and national taskings. With approximately 1,800 federal agents and mission support personnel, 240 aircraft and 300 marine vessels operating throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands, AMO serves as the nation’s experts in airborne and maritime law enforcement.
In Fiscal Year 2018, AMO enforcement actions resulted in the approximate seizure or disruption of 283,503 pounds of cocaine, 301,553 pounds of marijuana, 108,444 pounds of methamphetamine, 872 weapons, and $34.2 million; 2,373 arrests; and 47,744 apprehensions of illegal aliens.