An early-morning raid on a suspected drug-smuggling skiff off the Central Coast ended in the death of a U.S. Coast Guard officer, according to a release from a top Coast Guard official.
On Dec. 2, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter CGC Halibut, based out of Port Hueneme, was investigating a possible panga in the water. In the darkness, officers deployed a smaller vessel to intercept the boat. According to the statement, as the U.S. boat approached, the suspected smugglers kicked into high speed, striking the other craft before fleeing the area.
According to an all-hands e-mail sent out later that day, U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Bob Papp said two guardsmen were thrown into the water and one—the Halibut’s executive petty officer, Terrell Horne—suffered severe head trauma as a result and was pronounced dead upon return to port. The other crew member sustained minor injuries.
Horne was a 14-year veteran of the Guard.
Authorities later apprehended two suspects believed to be responsible, according to the report. The investigation remained ongoing as of press time.