Eggs sends us a link to the LA Times which reports that Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III, 34, of Redondo Beach was killed off the coast of California when he was approaching a suspected smuggler’s vessel in an inflatable raft when the suspect vessel crew gunned their engine and rammed the smaller craft and fled the scene;
The impact knocked Horne and another Coast Guardsman into the water. Both were quickly plucked from the sea. Horne had suffered a traumatic head injury. While receiving medical care, he was raced to shore aboard the Halibut. Paramedics met the Halibut at the pier in Port Hueneme and declared Horne dead at 2:21 a.m.
The second crew member knocked into the water suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from a hospital later Sunday. He was not identified.
The Coast guard unit later apprehended the crew of the smugglers’ boat and they promise to bring all of the crew to justice.
[Horne] appears to have arrived in Southern California last summer after serving for two years as an executive petty officer in Emerald Isle, N.C. There, he received a Coast Guard Commendation Medal for his leadership in 63 search-and-rescue cases, in which 38 lives were saved.
According to an account of the medal ceremony, the most notable of those operations involved a boat that capsized in a North Carolina inlet in 2010. The account said Horne coached his team through “treacherous” sea conditions to rescue five people.
From the Associated Press;
“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,” said Admiral Robert J. Papp, Coast Guard Commandant.