Fishing vessel leads U.S. Coast Guard on 20-minute pursuit

Late last week, the captain of a vessel fishing illegally off South Padre Island led the United States Coast Guard on a hazardous 20-minute pursuit.

According to a criminal complaint, around 8 p.m. April 18, a Coast Guard aircraft spotted two boats fishing approximately 31.5 nautical miles off South Padre Island and 8.5 nautical miles north of the U.S.-Mexican maritime boundary.

The fishing vessel, or lancha, operated without navigation lights when a Coast Guard patrol boat responded and attempted to hail and board one of the boats, using lights, sirens, radio calls and loud hailers in Spanish and English that directed Captain Noel Sequera-Hernandez to stop the boat, court documents indicate.

Sequera-Hernandez is accused of refusing to comply with the Coast Guard’s orders, which is a federal crime.