A rescue helicopter flies alongside the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut. (August 29, 2011)

AUX Steve Lee

A rescue helicopter flies alongside the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut. (August 29, 2011)

Panga Rams Coast Guard Boat, Kills Chief Officer

Patrol Boat Investigating Suspected Smugglers Near Santa Cruz Island; Two People in Custody

Sunday, December 2, 2012
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Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III, second in command on a U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat, was killed early Sunday morning as he and his crew investigated a suspected smuggling vessel near Santa Cruz Island in the Santa Barbara Channel.

The panga — a type of small, open craft often used by Mexican smugglers to run drugs and migrants up the West Coast — was first spotted by a Coast Guard patrol plane at around 1 a.m., said spokesperson Petty Officer Adam Eggers. The panga was “running darkened ship,” meaning it was operating without any navigational lights, he explained.

The Coast Guard dispatched its 87-foot Cutter Halibut and, once it arrived on the scene, the Halibut deployed its smaller intercept boat with Horne on board. The crew approached the panga with its blue law enforcement light flashing when the panga “maneuvered at a high rate of speed directly towards the Coast Guard small boat and struck it before fleeing the scene,” said Eggers.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne holds his son during a Christmas cruise onboard the Cutter Halibut in this undated photograph.
Click to enlarge photo


Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne holds his son during a Christmas cruise onboard the Cutter Halibut in this undated photograph.

Two Coast Guard members, including Horne, were thrown into the ocean and immediately recovered by the small boat, but Horne had suffered a severe head injury. The other Coast Guard member sustained minor injuries.

The Halibut collected all crew members on board, administered first aid to Horne, and rushed to Port Hueneme in Ventura County where emergency medical units were waiting. Horne, 34 years old and living in Redondo Beach, was declared dead on arrival at 2:01 a.m. Sunday morning. His family was notified soon after.

“Additional Coast Guard assets were able to stop the fleeing panga, and detained two suspects,” said Eggers. The incident remains under investigation and the names of the two suspects have not been released. It’s unclear if any drugs were found in the panga.

The Halibut, according to the Coast Guard’s website, is stationed in Marina Del Rey and is responsible for patrolling 300 miles of Southern California coastline from Morro Bay to Dana Point, including the northern Channel Islands and Catalina Island. It also provides security for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our shipmate,” said Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Robert J. Papp, in a prepared statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends, and his shipmates aboard Coast Guard Cutter Halibut. We are focused on supporting them during this very difficult time. Our fallen shipmate stood the watch on the front lines protecting our nation and we are all indebted to him for his service and sacrifice.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD, CRYSTAL METH, etc., all of it, any of it, every type of drug is legal. I know many of you don’t want that to be true but the 9th Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution says it’s true. The 9th Amendment, which is really the most important amendment and should be listed as the 1st Amendment says, “the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparge others retained by the PEOPLE.”

It means that just because some rights are listed in a Bill of Rights doesn’t mean that those are the only rights that Citizens have. According to “A Documentary History of the United States,” the 9th Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights as a compromise between those that wanted a Bill of Rights in the Consitution (anti-Federalists) and those wiser and more prescient first-generation American Citizens (Federalists) that didn’t want a Bill of Rights. The people of the United States were emerging from rule by a monarchy and the smartest and wisest Americans understood that a Bill of Rights was the sort of thing that a King or Queen granted their subjects. Those righteously more paranoid Americans sought to avoid the possible confusion that the government grants rights by eliminating a Bill of Rights altogether, arguing that a Constitution was a document for constraining government only and that, although powers of government require enumeration, Citizen rights should not be enumerated for fear of future confusion that government grants rights. It’s been a battle between interpreted powers of government versus rights of Citizens ever since.

The Ninth Amendent and any honest understanding of its history and purpose indicates that recreational drugs are a retained right. The tool consistenly used as a weapon by our tyrannical government to overstep and abuse its power in oppression of individual Citizen liberties is the Commerce Clause in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution that enumerates government powers. “Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” A mere clause, a third clause in an eighth section, has trumped an entire Amendment of the Bill of Rights. It’s tragic because the 9th Amendment was added to the Constitution specifically to avoid the sorts of abuse of power now being inflicted on Citizens by an out-of-control government.

All drugs are legal. The Ninth Amendment says they are. Any law regulating them is an illegal law because they are unConstitutional laws because they violate the 9th Amendment. Any police enforcement of such illegal laws is theoretically criminal activity.

The two dead Coast Guard sailors tragically and unfortunately lost their lives enforcing illegal laws in an illegal Drug War. Americans are dim. I hate us.

WooWoo (anonymous profile)
December 2, 2012 at 6:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

WooWoo: I would simplify what you have said by pointing out that drugs were legal until about a century ago. Since there is no evidence of people being sent to jail back in the times following the start of the U.S., I'd say you're right.

All one has to do, when dealing with a pro-drug war type, is remind them that we're not advocating *legalizing* drugs, but *RE-legalizing* them. It's not as though we're pushing some radical untried concept.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
December 2, 2012 at 8 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is a terrible, senseless tragedy. To die so young and under such circumstances is heartbreaking. It makes one question why this man died in this way and how this came to be his fate.

My heart goes out to his family and all of his loved ones. This is a sad, sad affair. My most sincere condolences.

chilldrinfthenight (anonymous profile)
December 3, 2012 at 3:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Lets not forget that the Coast Guard does SAR's work and saves 100's if not 1000's of lives each year. They don't define the mission, the elected do that. Chief Petty Officer Horne is responsible for the saving of many lives during his career and should be honored for that and his service to his country.

RIP Sailor and Peace to your Family.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
December 3, 2012 at 8:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Perhaps now, finally, a real investigation will take place as to where these drug running panga boats are offloading their contraband. It is dead certain that they don't use beaches along the highway where they can be seen. And they don't use beaches with high waves and rocky shore lines. And it is much more likely that they use beaches where they can drive onto the sand with a truck. Beaches behind locked gates and guarded by private guards. Sound familiar?

dontoasthecoast (anonymous profile)
December 3, 2012 at 8:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@WooWoo (OT thread)

"...wiser and more prescient first-generation American Citizens (Federalists) that didn’t want a Bill of Rights."

The problem is, that while it might be correct that we should not *philosophically* require an enumerated Bill of Rights, one is necessary, so that we have something of a "measuring stick" for such rights.

Decades ago, while playing a game with a 1/2" thick rulebook, my play-group would often fall into an argument that was basically, "Doesn't say you can/doesn't say you can't", which illustrates the issue. If a Right is not published, then you will always have those people who will assume that you have them by default, and others who assume that your do not have them by default.

The same problem happens every day in legislation--causing more and more seemingly ridiculous laws, because there is no longer anything that amounts to "common sense", where people do what would *seem* to be right in 'whatever situation'.

If there were no Bill of Rights to refer to, then those who seek to deny us of such rights would ask for proof of them!

equus_posteriori (anonymous profile)
December 3, 2012 at 8:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Subsequent to the Police Chief's, City Attorney's, County Sherrif's and DA's Offices' overly exuberant campaign against medical marijuana dispensaries in the city and county of Santa Barbara it seems like there has been significant increases in these panga boat landings full of marijuana. We told you that if you drive this stuff back underground into the black market the effect would not be a positive one. Now a serviceman is dead off of our coast and this war has now come knocking at our doorstep, no longer out of sight and mind in obscurity across the border. The ideology of our local officials and law enforcement is flawed. The lives of many are being led into ruin with no end in sight until the powers that be realize that they cannot continue in their clandestine operation. The legal doors are opening as a result of the will of the people and the attempt to obfuscate this change through law is a significant transgression against the community and a violation of the public trust.

CitizenX (anonymous profile)
December 3, 2012 at 9:28 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Geeze talk about a soft underbelly. Hopefully this will up the ante with people guarding our coast. What if these guys got hired by Iranian terrorists to ship in a dirty bomb? The whole thing about securing our borders vs a supply of dope thing some people can make a living is a joke. Sad about the serviceman no matter his rank. If you have ever driven a boat, you would know that to deliberately ram someone is a pretty obvious maneuver. Especially if you are running with no lights and they are well lit. I really hope the Coast Guard and Homeland Security ratchet it up a few notches. You can't just go sailing down to mexico with your goods land on the beach and do what you want. You would be rounded up by Federal-es and have AK-47's pointed in your chest. Then who knows what would happen depending on which side of the law the Mexican law enforcement was on.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
December 3, 2012 at 9:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

bimboteskie, the Mexican Federales use American M-16 rifles, not Soviet AK-47s.

CitizenX, please learn how to use apostrophes, not apostrophe's. The theme of your message is correct, though.

And this whole incident again raises the question about why is the War on Drugs still happening when we can produce plenty of our own taxed and regulated, California-grown marijuana.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
December 3, 2012 at 11:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@ John. Not trying to be argumentative and I may be wrong, but my usage of apostrophes was meant to indicate possession (i.e. the campaign was theirs), in which case I think I used correctly. I probably should have used "/" instead of commas between names, but whatever. I wasn't being careful in any case.

CitizenX (anonymous profile)
December 3, 2012 at 12:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ok M-16's. Whatever....

I find it hard to believe one would be more concerned about legal weed and the war on drugs rather than a foreign national running down one your law enforcement officials that is here to serve and protect. So if the war on drugs was no more. Free weed for all... would you still not have a problem with people driving boats up from Mexico with who knows what in them and running down your Coast Guardsmen at night? Or is the belief that it would never happen if weed was legal and taxed?

How sad for Officer Horne and his family. Condolences.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
December 3, 2012 at 12:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What a terrible tragedy. My only concern at this point is for this mans family. As pointed out, these are the same guys that save the butts of recreational boaters and fishing professionals.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
December 3, 2012 at 6:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The next time the coastguards see a panga, please fire first and ask questions later.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 2:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Then the Terrorists would have won, blackpoodles.

Perhaps better government policy would be to shift the market to domestic suppliers / growers instead of these Mexican Mafia imports?

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 7:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The Border Wars coming to SB, time to reasses our policys and how much we invite this kind of stuff.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 9 a.m. (Suggest removal)

And we invite it with our drug laws and leniency we show to businesses that use illegal immigrant labor, and no I don't mean a housekeeper or landscaper, but bigger operations that use at least 10 or more people. EIther we come to grips with the fact that large portions of our population enjoy using illegal drugs and our disadvantaged neighbors also want the American Dream, but are being cheated out of it by greed.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 9:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Bimbo, if weed was legal and taxed, the panga boat would just have a different kind of contraband on board ... or maybe be smuggling humans. I agree with you, doesn't seem to be a proportionate concern for the Guardsmen and his family. Bet if the Coast Guard had opened fire and sunk a boatload of illegal alien smugglers, this board would be up in arms!

Scooter (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 9:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Smuggling via Panga Boat is based on the value of the cargo, risk vs. monetary benefits. The same weight or mass of alien workers pales in comparison of the immediate cash redemption value of illegal drugs. Not all contraband is the same.

The solution is not to violate the Constitution and have law enforcement (including Coast Guard) fire first and ask questions later, but rather to take away the smuggling market incentive for their cargo.

Support California agriculture and the Government that may regulate and tax it.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 11:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Fine the crap out of business entities that hire illegal aliens and deport the illegals asap. OK, that's easy and effective.
Now, getting this country to create some type of logical policy on pharmaceutical agents we disapprove of is an actual problem; especially since even the idiots that want to give away the farm to illegal aliens apparently like the idiotic war on drugs.
I just feel sad for this poor guys family.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 7:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

OK, maybe I am just really angry on behalf of this poor man's family right now, but the Mexican cartels have proven to be ruthless, and if a suspicious boat does not immediately respond to police order to stop and identify itself, sink the damn thing. I don't see how that means terrorists will have won anything except to sleep with the fishes.
As for you all pot smokers out there, please grow your own, or better yet, sober up. How much does your life stink that you have to spend it drunk or stoned all the time and support these lowlives?

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
December 4, 2012 at 9:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I am disgusted by this dishonor of Chief Horne’s Memory.

Public Policy is not the Coast Guards mission, talk about drugs with your elected officials, it is inappropriate now.

October 29, 2012 the Coast Guard responded to the Bounty that was stupid enough to set sail into Hurricane Sandy. The responders did not debate public policy or the plain stupidity of the Bounty Captain; they risked their lives to rescue 14 souls.

Anyone one of you Policy People willing to go into 30-foot seas and save people in the middle of a hurricane?

Here is link

What this thread should be about is honoring those who “Stood the Watch” and made a difference in the lives they saved, as Chief Horne did.

An event April 27, 2012 placed me in the same room as Chief Horne as we had lunch celebrating the retirement of another Chief that had “Stood the Watch” for 22 years, moved his family 9 times, the sacrifices his wife and 3 children made having to relocate every few years.

Drug Interdiction is just a blip on the radar of what the Coast Guard does and that is all most of you can focus on, clearly just a bunch of self-absorbed losers that cannot get past yourself for even a moment to honor the fallen and pay respect to the family.

The Weather Channel has a show “Coast Guard, Alaska”, almost 100% of the time is spent in rescues, in the worst weather, in the Bering Sea, saving peoples lives. Again would you jump into 40-foot seas and freezing water to save someone?

This is what the men and women of the Coast Guard focus on, saving life, its called Public Service.

I swear the majority today looks at the world through an abdominal window,to those who expressed condolences, I thank you for your humanity.

howgreenwasmyvalley (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 10:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I would like to join blackpoodles in our own public service to decide unilaterally what a "suspicious" boat would be in order for any law enforcement authority to let loose with its 50-cal M2 Browning.

Until then, support California agriculture.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 12:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think standard operating procedure is to disable the boat with the 50-cal by shooting up the engine. I am all for it. Especially after this event.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 4:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Much respect to the officer, but this isn't an obituary. This is sign of a bigger problem that will most likely put more Guardsmen in danger's way than need be.The biggest problem I have with it is that there is a solution to this problem, and it is not being implemented.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 7:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, the solution is for Americans to stop buying drugs. I am not holding my breath on that one.

blackpoodles (anonymous profile)
December 5, 2012 at 8:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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