Coast Guard Intercepts 2nd Mexican Fishing Crew in 4 Days

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard once again interdicted a lancha with Mexican fishing crew in U.S. waters Monday.

On Monday afternoon while conducting a routine patrol an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew spotted four people aboard a 25-foot lancha approximately 30 miles off South Padre Island and 18 miles north of the U.S./Mexico maritime border.

The aircrew notified Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi watchstanders, who then launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter, the Coast Guard Cutter Pompano, an 87-foot coastal patrol boat, and a 33-foot law enforcement boat from Coast Guard Station South Padre Island. The helicopter arrived and vectored in the cutter and law enforcement boat crews.

The lancha was at anchor with its outboard engine out of the water and had fishing gear aboard. The four lancha crew members were taken aboard the Cutter Pompano and were turned over to Customs and Border Protection.

Since Oct. 1 2013, there have been 85 lancha sightings, all of which have been suspected of illegally poaching in U.S. waters. The Coast Guard has seized 27 of them and compelled another 33 back south across the U.S./Mexico border.

If you witness suspicious or illegal fishing in state waters (out to 9 miles offshore), please contact Texas Parks & Wildlife “Operation Game Thief” at 1-800-792-GAME (4263). For all suspicious or illegal fishing occurring in federal waters (out to 200 miles offshore), please contact the U.S. Coast Guard at 361-939-6393.

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