Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Coast Guard looks for Somali pirates trains off Miami Beach

UPDATED Thursday at 12:30pm: I contacted the U.S. Coast Guard 7th District Public Affairs section this afternoon.

Petty Officer Nick Ameen tells me that the appearance of their chopper last night in Biscayne Bay between Star Island and Miami Beach was just a "training exercise." Ameen said that this is something they do all the time. "That way we're ready."

Ameen also tells me that he's received quite a few calls about last night's exercise.

photo by John Fisher

A Coast Guard HH-65 Dauphin helicopter (large circle) hovers about 40 or 50 feet over the water off Miami Beach (at 11th Street and West Avenue) and Star Island Wednesday night.

The chopper arrived at about 8pm and stayed on scene for about an hour in a steady hover, shining its searchlight into the water. A police boat (small circle) was in the water below. The steady whine of the chopper's turbines prompted many high rise residents to gawk at the scene and more than a few of them to flood Channel 7's switchboard.

It's unknown what, if anything, the Coast Guard was looking for. I'll update as soon as Channel 7 hits the air!

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