A sinking self-propelled semi-submersible vessel was interdicted in the Western Caribbean Sea March 30, 2012, by the crews of Coast Guard Cutter Decisive, Coast Guard Cutter Pea Island, Joint Interagency Task Force South and the Honduran Navy. The SPSS sank during the interdiction in thousands of feet of water. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
“The cutters’ crews were called in when an Air Station Miami aircrew, working in the Caribbean in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South’s Operation Martillio, spotted a suspicious vessel and notified 7th Coast Guard District watchstanders of the location. Pea Island and Decisive diverted to the position and their pursuit boat crews were dispatched.
With both Pea Island and Decisive’s pursuit boat crews on the case, the SPSS was successfully interdicted and four suspected smugglers were detained. During the interdiction, the drug sub sank in thousands of feet of water, an act that is common as drug traffickers design their vessels to be difficult to spot and rapidly sink when they detect law enforcement.
“Medium endurance cutters like the Decisive are built for multi-week offshore patrols including operations requiring enhanced communications and helicopter and pursuit boat operations,” said Capt. Brendan McPherson, 7th Coast Guard District chief of enforcement. “When combined with patrol boats like the Pea Island, which has superior speed and flexibility, it helps us and our partners to provide the Coast Guard’s unique blend of military capability, law enforcement authority and lifesaving expertise wherever needed to protect American interests.”
I spent some time aboard the Decisive last fall, and the Swamp Rats should be proud, Bravo Zulu!