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CBP Agents Rescue Man Standing Atop a Sinking Airplane Off the Florida Coast

By Steve Neavling

Customs and Border Protection agents happened upon a plane crash off the coast of Florida and rescued the lone occupant who was standing atop the sinking aircraft. 

Air and Marine Operations’ (AMO) Tampa Marine Unit was conducting a join operation with the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Impact Unit on Nov. 9 when agents and deputies spotted a man climbing out of the plane about a hundred miles north of Tampa along Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

“The situational awareness and quick actions of the Marine Interdiction Agents and Sheriff’s Deputies prevented a possible human tragedy,” Michael Matthies, deputy director of Marine Operations, said in a statement. “We are thankful we have the proper resources and trained personnel to perform when incidents like this present themselves.” 

AMO is responsible for assessing and confronting security threats using aviation and maritime law enforcement expertise. In the 2020 fiscal year, AMO seized or disrupted more than 194,000 pounds of cocaine, 278,000 pounds of marijuana, nearly 16,000 pounds of meth, 952 weapons and $51.5 million. AMO’s operations also led to 1,066 arrests and the apprehension of 47,872 undocumented migrants. 


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