SOUTH PADRE ISLAND–A call from a good samaritan helped the Coast Guard catch two Mexican boats fishing illegally across the border South Padre Island.
The call from an offshore oil rig worker who reported three fishing boats from Mexico crossed into the United States on Sunday about 29 miles northeast of South Padre Island.
The Coast Guard race out there with two 33-foot long Special Purpose Craft and a Falcon Jet, meanwhile Customs and Border Protection launched a crew to help out.
Officials report one of the three lanchas made it back across into Mexican waters, but the other two were intercepted by small boat crews from the Coast Guard.
Both lanchas had sharks and fish on board and eight crew members were caught and later handed over to the Border Patrol.
“Historically, in January, we see an increase of border activity, but we have already seen almost double this month than (what) we had this time last year,” said Lt. Cmdr. Darren Melanson, a Coast Guard law enforcement officer. “Tips from good Samaritans are so helpful because it increases our awareness of what is out there.”
Video of the case can be viewed here: http://cgvi.uscg.mil/media/main.php?g2_itemId=109447
–Manuel De La Rosa, South Texas Tribune, firstname.lastname@example.org