Tag Archives: low profile drug vessel

Tall Ship Getting it Done

The buque escuela BAE Guayas (BE-21) is a 1,300-ton Class A Tall Ship operated by the Ecuadorian Navy. Built in Spain in the 1970s to a design similar to the circa 1930s Blohm & Voss segelschulschiffs (like Gorch Fock, USCGC Eagle, and the NRP Sagres) she is a direct sistership to the training ships Gloria (Colombia), Simón Bolívar (Venezuela), and Cuauhtémoc (Mexico).

A steel-hulled three-masted barque capable of hoisting 15,200 sq. ft. of canvas with a 700hp Detroit diesel “steel topsail” for when the wind is calm, she is beautiful, akin to a flying cloud on the water.

With a crew of some 155, she can carry 80 naval cadets and is frequently used in trips overseas to show the country’s flag and has visited over 60 countries in the past 40 years, cruising in excess of 500,000 miles on 30 training cruises from Vladivostok to Boston.

However, she is still a naval vessel, with a small arms locker, and capable of conducting real-world missions in required. Case in point, she just popped a narco sub roaming in the Eastern Pacific.

The tall ship’s crew boarded the vessel, impounded a cargo of moody blow, and arrested four including three Ecuadorians and a Colombian.

All in a day’s work.

Bravo Zulu, Guayas.

Smoking Narco Boats Left and Right

It seems like the Coasties aren’t even having to try these days.

While cruising from the builder’s yard at Pascagoula to her future homeport in Honolulu, where she is set to be commissioned 24 August, the country’s newest National Security Cutter, PCU USCGC Midgett (WMSL 757), bagged a top-level narco boat.

Midgett seized over a ton of coke worth $64 million “from a low-profile go-fast vessel (LPV) interdicted in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean.”

Pretty sweet profile

The inside of the boat showed that, A) potential smugglers can’t be claustrophobic, but B) are likely fans of Narcos on Netflix.

Notably, the move was a lay-up as a Burke in the area had bird dogged the smuggler and handed the bust over to the Midgett to handle.

From the Coast Guard:

On July 25 a U.S. Navy MH-60R Sea Hawk aircrew embarked aboard the USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) sighted a low-profile go-fast vessel. As the helicopter approached, a hatch opened on the top of the vessel and three passengers were seen jettisoning objects.

The Michael Murphy remained with the suspected smuggling vessel until the Midgett arrived on scene to conduct a law enforcement boarding. Midgett’s boarding team seized approximately 2,100 pounds of cocaine from the interdiction and apprehended three suspected smugglers.

“Even though the cutter is still in a pre-commission status, this interdiction showcases how ready our crew is and how capable the national security cutters are,” said Capt. Alan McCabe, Midgett’s commanding officer. “It also demonstrates the importance of our partnership with the U.S. Navy, whose contributions are vital in stemming the flow of drugs into the United States.”

A whole new take on cigarette boats

Low-observable to both radar and the ole Mk I eyeball, these homegrown Latin American LPVs can pack tons of blow on one-way trips and are increasingly common in the East Pac.

The crew on Coast Guard Cutter Campbell captured this photo of a low profile drug vessel on May 24, 2018, during their deployment to the Eastern Pacific.

Presser from U.S. Coast Guard 1st District Northeast:

BOSTON — Coast Guard Cutter Campbell returned to its homeport in Kittery, Maine, Friday after an 80-day counter-narcotic patrol in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Campbell’s crew disrupted six narcotic smuggling ventures, seized about 12,000 pounds of cocaine, worth $209 million, and detained 24 suspected smugglers.

Equipped with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew deployed from the Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron unit based in Jacksonville, Florida, the Campbell patrolled known narcotic transit zones in the Eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Central and South America in support of [Key West NAS-based] Joint Interagency Task Force-South, which facilitates international and interagency interdiction to enable the disruption and dismantlement of illicit and converging threat networks in support of national and hemispheric security.

“During this challenging deployment, the crew excelled in all assigned missions and should be exceptionally proud of their accomplishments,” said Cmdr. Mark McDonnell, commanding officer of the Campbell. “Our efforts to integrate with partner agencies and nations are key to the safe and successful execution of these complex interdiction operations as we work together to remove cocaine bound for the United States and help dismantle criminal networks.”

Campbell is a 29-year-old Famous-Class cutter homeported in Kittery, Maine, with a crew complement of 100.