The U.S. Coast Guard seized a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel carrying more than 16,000 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on July 18, 4,000 pounds of which sank with the vessel during the tow.
The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton from Alameda apprehended four suspected smugglers and seized 275 bales of cocaine worth more than USD 181 million wholesale from the self-propelled semi-submersible. A U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft detected the 40-foot semi-submersible vessel more than 200-miles south of Mexico.
After removing 12,000 pounds of the narcotics aboard, the crew of Stratton attempted to tow the vessel to shore as evidence; however, the semi-submersible began taking on water and sank, the USCG said.
Approximately 4,000 pounds of cocaine left in the SPSS vessel to stabilize it during the towing evolution sank in over 13,000-feet of water and is unrecoverable.
The July 18 semi-submersible seizure is the largest recorded semi-submersible interdiction in Coast Guard history.