Louisiana Boater Arrested After Shooting at Coast Guard Helicopter
A boater near Venice, Louisiana, was arrested on Friday after he allegedly fired a weapon at a Coast Guard helicopter responding to a distress call.
The Coast Guard responded to a distress signal from a 40-foot sailboat on Thursday that was about 75 miles south of Southwest Pass. A helicopter with a crew was sent in by the Coast Guard to help the distressed boater.
However, when officials arrived on the scene, the person "pointed what appeared to be a firearm at the helicopter," according to a press release. "The aircrew heard objects striking the aircraft and immediately departed the scene due to aircraft and crew safety concerns."
The helicopter then returned to the Air Station in New Orleans and the Coast Guard discovered it had been shot.
The boater was arrested on Friday "without incident" when FBI agents and Coast Guard Investigative Service returned in a fixed wing airplane and a response boat.
The Coast Guard did not name the boater or specify the charges.
“Safety of life was our number one priority during this challenging incident,” Lt. Phillip VanderWeit, spokesperson for the Eighth Coast Guard District, said. “Through the professional and skillful work of our crews and interagency partners, we were able to bring this incident to a peaceful resolution.”
“The Coast Guard will continue to work across multiple levels of government to thoroughly investigate this incident,” the press release said.
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