A member of the U.S. Coast Guard has died after investigating a panga-type vessel suspected of illegal activities. A Coast Guard cutter near Santa Cruz Island off the central coast of California deployed a small boat to approach the vessel. From the U.S.C.G. news release:
(The panga) was running darkened ship, meaning it was operating without any navigational running lights or other illumination. When the Coast Guard small boat approached with its blue law enforcement light energized, the suspect vessel, identified to be a profile Mexican style panga, maneuvered at a high rate of speed directly towards the Coast Guard small boat and struck it before fleeing the scene.
Two coast guard members were thrown into the water. One member, who has since been identified as Terrell Horne III, sustained a traumatic head injury which proved fatal.
The other member suffered minor injuries, and a name has not been released. Coast Guard members were able to stop the panga and detain suspects.
A spokesperson stated since January 1, 2002, the Coast Guard has lost 24 personnel, including Horne's recent passing, to operations and training.