Panga boat driver kills Coast Guard officer

December 3, 2012

A panga boat suspected to be used for smuggling drugs rammed into a Coast Guard boat early Sunday morning, killing an officer off the coast of Santa Barbara County. [Noozhawk]

The Coast Guard spotted the panga boat around 1 a.m. near Santa Cruz Island in the Santa Barbara Channel and dispatched the Cutter Halibut to investigate it. A small boat then launched from the Cutter and approached the panga, Coast Guard spokesman Adam Eggers told Noozhawk.

“When the Coast Guard small boat approached with its blue law enforcement light energized, the suspect vessel, identified a profile Mexican-style panga, maneuvered at a high rate of speed directly toward the Coast Guard small boat and struck it before fleeing the scene,” Eggers said.

The collision threw two crew members into the water, causing a traumatic head injury to one. The small Coast Guard boat recovered both of the crew members, but at about 2:20 a.m. doctors declared Chief Petty Officer Terrel Horne III, 34, dead. The other crewman sustained minor injuries.

Other guardsmen stopped the fleeing panga and detained two suspects.

ABC News reported that that the Coast Guard detained two additional suspects from a pleasure craft it intercepted along with the panga. The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s SWAT Team and the U.S. Border Patrol are searching for yet another two suspects, whom they believe the suspected smugglers dropped off on Santa Cruz Island.

The incident remains under investigation, and law enforcement has not released the names of the suspects. The cause of Horne’s death is expected to be released Monday.

Several panga boats suspected of smuggling drugs from Mexico have reached the shores of San Luis Obispo County in recent months. One panga boat beached near San Simeon last week, leading to multiple arrests.


Let’s put these SOB smugglers/killers out of business . Let’s make drugs legal .


I thought it was in the name. Coast GUARD; National GUARD. These boats should not be able to be even close to our country, much less kill one of our service men. I say sink them on sight when they dont stop.


I heard on the radio that the Coast Guard’s vessel was inflatable. This really doesn’t sound very… guard-worthy. Can we please get something other than inflatables? I mean, this isn’t special forces quietly assaulting a beach, this is the coast guard!

It seems every other navy in the world designs their ships for ramming – something that is NOT part of the US Navy (and subsequently, the Coast Guard) strategy.

…and if I’m on an air-filled dinghy and some panga turns around and guns for me? Well, I will “gun” back immediately. I wonder if the Coast Guard has the same limiting “Rules of Engagement” our military suffers from.

Ted Slanders

The Frogs had the right idea when they built the Maginot Line in World War 2. If it isn’t possible for us to build one as well, because it would eliminate beach access, then get this type of sorjouner beyond the 12 mile territorial limit, and ……… uh, ………. well, you know what! Case closed. Enough is enough, period!

Hell, even the Hebrew/Christian God stands up for revenge like described above in the Old Testament in many examples and narratives, praise!


Yes! Let’s install coastal gun emplacements to shell suspicious passing boats just in case. We can launch drones from the Cambria air base.


Better, Lets learn how to carpet bomb the 3rd world with sandwiches, pudding cups and trail mix. Cheaper fix than our last 3 wars for sure.


See the previous article, they won’t even deport the criminals now.


I would like to know WHY they were not BLOWN out of the water after the ramming , them COASTIES have a lot more patience than I do , them 50 cal would have been barking


Our breach in national security is a far bigger concern for me than the issue of what they are bringing.


Americans will continue to suffer the impact of the violence of the central american drug cartels invading our country as long as our president and Congress put a higher priority on getting our soldiers blown up in the Middle East than they do on protecting our own borders.

Our government should bring our soldiers home and employ them in protecting our southern border. Instead, the few law enforcement officers we do have to protect our borders–like the Coast Guard–who are unequipped to fight this onslaught of violence, are being killed while trying to keep us safe.

Just think what could be done to secure our southern border if the resources wasted in the Middle East were, instead, shifted over to the protection of our own country.

The result of our government’s unwillingness to keep us safe here in our own country is responsible for the deaths of LEOs like CPO Horne.

It is not right, and it makes me physically stomach sick.


Well stated, Mary.


This is a unnecessary and tragic loss. Unfortunately our government will continue to apply its military resources where democracy can be hopefully obtained. With democracy comes free markets, free markets make for revenue and profits and/or getting something we want (oil) for the USA. Im not a user, but until the US legalizes pot there is no reason for them to invest militarily on a large scale to stop the inflow of drugs.

Read the article here on immigration reform infuriates me, “its hurting people on a daily basis” they say. Them being the illegals who willfully break the law. What about those born and raised here or immigrants here legally, law abiding US Citizens who’s families are hurting themselves because of no jobs. Im tired of supporting our lopdick politicians who only are looking for latino votes so they can get reelected.


These wet bags have nothing else to sell.

It’s a war that will seemingly go on forever.

The war is always accompanied with deadly fear and desperation.


Just like the “war on terror,” the “war on poverty” and the “war on christianity,” the war on drugs will never end and will provide infinite justification for repression & control (and money) by those who proclaim and institutionalize it.


Mind altering drug? isnt wine a drug too?

If God didn’t want people to do pot or other mind altering drugs why did he let it grow??? Why did God allow Man kind to use it? Next time you talk to God ask why.