U.S. Coast Guard national training moves to North Charleston

By Stacy

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Starting next week, if you see a boat going at fast speeds, don't be alarmed. They're part of a new national Coast Guard training program that is now exclusively taught in North Charleston.

Starting next month, all U.S. law enforcement officers who patrol the nation's waterways will first pass through Charleston waters.

senior chief boatswain's mate Tom Walsh

"We teach Coast Guard men and women how to stop boats that are not complying with a lawful order to stop their vessel," said Seth Hunt, school chief for the course in noncompliant vessel pursuit.

"This is for certain Coast Guard personnel that operate in high-threat areas that have a large amount of drug trafficking and human trafficking activities," said Tom Walsh, Commanding Officer of the Maritime Law Enforcement Academy.

The Coast Guard moved its noncompliant vessel pursuit course from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to Charleston. Officials said it was part of a consolidation effort that took years to plan. It will join the coast guard's other law enforcement training classes in North Charleston.

"It's like one stop shopping for training," Hunt said.

From Charleston, the officers will move on to patrol waters around the country.

"Off the southeast coast of the US, throughout the Caribbean, the eastern pacific. Southern California coast," Walsh said.

Pilot classes for the program start next week and the course officially begins in October.

The training boats, mock gunshots, flashing blue lights and may be moving erratically.

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