Coast Guard comments on armed boarding of purse seiner

As we reported this morning, armed Coast Guard agents who arrived on a C-130 aircraft boarded the purse seine Jeanette apparently looking for drugs.

The Jeanette had been out at sea but was ordered to return to port.

A fishing boat owner who was at the dock said that friends on the Jeanette said the agents were looking for drugs but didnt find any.

More than half a dozen Coast Guard men from Honolulu were involved in the operation.

Lt. Kevin Whalen, head of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Unit in Pago Pago, sought permission from Coast Guard Public Affairs in Honolulu to respond to our questions about the operation.

This is the statement he was authorized to give KHJ News:

“The Coast Guard was engaged in an active law enforcement in American Samoa.

“It is the policy and standard practice of the Coast Guard to conduct law enforcement boardings, armed. The Coast Guard is committed to public safety.”