U.S. Customs, Coast Guard, testing & training in county

By George Miller

Today we saw US Customs and Coast Guard testing and training activities offshore near Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard.

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U. S. Customs and Border Protection chase boat enters Channel Islands Harbor for fuel stop on 4-8-16. Photo: GeorgeMiller/CitizensJournal.us

The U.S. Customs and Border protection was testing a chase boat which crew members confirmed is intended to be used for drug interdiction. They said it was brought here from Florida for testing in West Coast sea conditions. When I asked them if it was tougher here, they said yes. I asked what type of conditions/waves the craft could handle and one replied “that’s what we’re here to find out.” Since this is the third time we encountered this craft out and about, they should have an inkling of that by now.

The boat is powered by four high-performance 300 horsepower outboard motors, which I was told would propel it at over 50 knots. A boat that small with 1200 horsepower should go considerably faster, so perhaps they want to keep drug-runners guessing.

About 300+ yards west of the harbor entrance, we spotted a U.S. Coast Guard boat, similar to the one below, practicing capturing, boarding and side towing maneuvers with a “panga”-type open boat, complete with cutout wooden dummies to simulate passengers. When we last saw the craft, it was performing a neatly executed side-tow of the panga back to Channel Islands Harbor.

USCG45-foot-response-boatmedium

Advertisement- 740 South B Street, Oxnard, (805) 486-6878

Advertisement- 740 South B Street, Oxnard, (805) 486-6878

USCustoms4-225

Even less powerful US Customs craft (at St.Thomas, VI) go faster (55 knots) than what we were told about the more powerful model we saw. Source: walterslack.com

Here’s the 1200 HP “Midnight Express” version ….

USCustomsMidnightExpress

Night Riders

Pangas spotted near Santa Barbara

USCG Channel Islands

USCG boat testing in NY


George Miller is Publisher of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, as well as a former ocean racer, residing in Oxnard.

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