A boater in waters south of Louisiana has been arrested after federal officials say he opened fire on a Coast Guard helicopter as it responded to a distress call.
The Coast Guard responded to a distress signal from a 40-foot sail boat on Thursday located about 75 miles south of Southwest Pass, Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a news release issued Saturday.
When Coast Guard crews arrived on scene in a rescue helicopter, they attempted to lower a radio down to the boat after they noticed a person and two dogs aboard it.
The person then pointed “what appeared to be a firearm at the helicopter,” according to the release, and the aircrew heard objects striking the aircraft.
Due to aircraft and crew safety concerns, the helicopter immediately departed the scene. After returning to Air Station New Orleans, the crew observed impacts to the helicopter rotors consistent with projectiles from a firearm, the release continues.
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On Friday, the Coast Guard arrested the boater without incident when Coast Guard Investigative Service returned to the scene in an airplane and a response boat, the release continues.
Officials did not name the boater, say what charges they are facing, or say why the boater reportedly fired shots at the helicopter.
“Safety of life was our number one priority during this challenging incident,” Lt. Phillip VanderWeit, a spokesperson for the Eighth Coast Guard District said. “Through the professional and skillful work of our crews and interagency partners, we were able to bring this incident to a peaceful resolution.”
As of Monday, the incident remained under investigation.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.