LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A member of the U.S. Coast Guard died Sunday morning during law enforcement operations in Santa Barbara County.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our shipmate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, and his shipmates aboard Coast Guard Cutter Halibut,” Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert J. Papp said in a statement.
The Coast Guard Cutter Halibut was investigating a Mexican-style panga vessel, which officials suspected was involved with illicit activities.
The cutter deployed a small boat and began approaching the vessel.
The vessel, maneuvering at a high rate of speed, struck the Coast Guard’s small boat before fleeing the scene, officials said.
Two members of the Coast Guard were thrown from the boat; one suffered minor injuries while the other sustained a traumatic head injury.
The injured man was pronounced dead by emergency medical responders. Sunday evening, officials identified the dead man as 34-year-old Terrell Horne III of Redondo Beach.
Horne’s neighbors told CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Cristy Fajardo that Horne was a devoted husband and family man. Horne and wife Rachel have one daughter and a child on the way.
“Our fallen shipmate stood the watch on the front lines protecting our nation and we are all indebted to him for his service and sacrifice,” Papp said. “Finally, I commend the responding Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection units whose quick actions led to the successful interdiction and apprehension of those believed to be involved.”
The Coast Guard caught two men in the panga boat and have detained them, said officials.