I-Team patrols the seas with the Coast Guard

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Coast Guard shows the I-Team what it takes to patrols the seas

ABC11 joined a U.S. Coast Guard crew on patrol as it worked to safeguard 300 miles of North Carolina coastline from incoming criminal threats and protect people having fun on the water.

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"Safety of life at sea, that is our primary mission and the safety of the homeland," said U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Jeremy Thomas.

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard are first responders on the open ocean, ready to rescue people in need of lifesaving help.

"We are here to make sure that everything is safe, keep people safe," Thomas said.

Their area of responsibility extends to 50 miles offshore.

"When somebody's in distress, we're launching every asset we have," said U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Allen Bozeman.

We watched as they conducted a random boarding, stopping two men and their dog, on a fishing trip. Under federal law, the Coast Guard can board any boat at any time. They do not need probable cause.

"It's a cold hit. Is the boat riding right, are they driving erratically, are people on the bow? Those things can turn into anything. You never know," said Thomas.

They acknowledge the responsibility of being on the frontline of protecting North Carolina.

"We are also watching for anything suspicious, that may cause us questions, with regard to drugs or human trafficking," Thomas said.

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