Coast Guard Conducts Joint Boardind Operation in Tampa Area

TAMPA, Fla. – The Coast Guard, along with state and local agencies, conducted a joint-boarding operation from Oct. 13 to Oct. 14, which involved boarding vessels throughout Tampa Bay to ensure maritime safety and security.

Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, the Coast Guard Cutter Marlin, Coast Guard Station St. Petersburg, and the Coast Guard Marine Safety and Security Team 91114 (MSST) from Miami, joined forces with the FBI, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tampa Police Department for “Operation Upper Seal”.

The multi-agency teams completed a total of 211 boardings. Collectively, the teams positively identified 500 people on the water, issued 40 safety violations, issued nine security-zone violations and arrested five individuals (one illegal immigrant, one on a stolen-weapons charge and three for other felony violations). Also, CBP conducted interviews with six persons of interest.

“The Coast Guard routinely partners with local, state and federal law-enforcement agencies in order to keep the people around the bay safe and secure,” said Lt. Joshua Brand, Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg’s Law Enforcement Officer. “In addition, these types of joint operations help the agencies establish common procedures and maintain continuity which, in turn, solidifies the partnerships.”

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