If the name CDR E. A. Westfall, CDR, USCG sounds familiar, then you are a regular listener to Midrats. He joined us back on Episode 26 of Midrats to discuss the nature of Command, and is the Commanding Officer of the USCGC ESCANABA (WMEC 907).
Well, our good Skipper has had an interesting day mid-month.
A U.S. Coast Guard cutter was fired upon by suspected drug traffickers during a pursuit off the coast of Nicaragua, a Coast Guard spokesman told CNN.No time to second guess the CO - but boy howdy, a lot of questions come to mind.
No Coast Guard personnel were injured in the gunfight, said Lt. Cmdr. Chris O'Neil.
The incident took place in the early morning of September 14, but information about the attack was not released until CNN inquired Friday about the incident.
"While it is rare to have Coast Guard personnel fired upon, this incident serves to remind us of the ruthless nature of smugglers, the disregard they have for human life and the dangers our men and women face when enforcing laws and treaties on the high seas," said O'Neil, chief of media relations for the Coast Guard said.
No shots hit the Coast Guard boat and there was no damage, O'Neil added.
The shooting happened after a boarding team from the Cutter Escanaba pursued a go-fast vessel suspected of smuggling drugs in international waters. The suspects managed to escape after entering Nicaraguan waters, said O'Neil.
The Coast Guard is still reviewing the event, he said.
Once you get the answer to the first three - then you can ask more questions. Shame the SOBs got away, but the important thing is that all our Coast Guardsmen are fine.
UPDATE: Exchanged a few emails with the CO, and he wants to make sure everyone knows that, yes, the USCG did return fire.
Hopefully, BigUSCG will put our more details as I think it is important for the taxpayer to know what the USCG is putting it all on the line to try to mitigate the poison coming across our borders.