A boater was arrested after allegedly opening fire on a Coast Guard helicopter crew as it responded to a call for help near New Orleans, officials said over the weekend.
The Coast Guard had received a "distress signal early Thursday morning from an activated emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) belonging to a 40-foot sailing vessel" about 75 miles south of Southwest Pass, Louisiana, the agency said in a statement.
As the Coast Guard crew approached the craft and tried to lower a radio down to it, a man on board opened fire, officials said.
"The aircrew heard objects striking the aircraft and immediately departed the scene due to aircraft and crew safety concerns," according to the statement. "Upon returning to Air Station New Orleans, the aircrew observed impacts to the helicopter rotors consistent with projectiles from a firearm."
A plane, cutter and 45-foot response boat were sent to the scene.
The alleged shooter was taken into custody without incident on Friday, according to the Coast Guard.
“Safety of life was our number one priority during this challenging incident,” said Lt. Phillip VanderWeit, a spokesman for the Eighth Coast Guard District.
“Through the professional and skillful work of our crews and interagency partners, we were able to bring this incident to a peaceful resolution. The Coast Guard will continue to work across multiple levels of government to thoroughly investigate this incident.”