Tag Archives: narcosub

Just hailing a ride on a Narco Sub

In the bonkers short video below, you see a U.S. Coast Guard Deployable Specialized Forces TACLET guy deployed on the U.S. Coast Guard Legends-class National Security Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) going for a ride on a 31-foot Long Range Interceptor “somewhere in the Eastern Pacific.”

Said Coastie makes a perfect landing on what JIATF-South calls “a self-propelled semi-submersible suspected drug smuggling vessel (SPSS)” but best just known as a Narco-Sub. The below happened June 18, 2019.

This is the SPSS when surfaced, to give a scale at just how much of the hull was below the sea:

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members inspect a self-propelled semi-submersible June 19, 2019, in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. U.S. Coast Guard photo

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members inspect a self-propelled semi-submersible June 19, 2019, in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Just two weeks after the above video was shot, crewmembers of the USCGC Mohawk (WMEC 913) and Tactical Law Enforcement Team South interdicted a second SPSS while conducting counter-trafficking operations in the Eastern Pacific.

(Coast Guard Photos)

The Coast Guard hasn’t been this busy fighting submarines since the Germans!

A look at JIATF South

CBS takes an in-depth look at Joint Interagency Task Force South. Based out of Key West, it’s commanded by a USCG flag officer but includes assets from throughout USSOUTHCOM and 4th Fleet. It’s a neat video with a lot of access granted. They go inside the CIC of a National Security Cutter– USCGC James (WMSL-754)– see HITRON fire some rounds, and get a close up of Bigfoot, the narcosub over at Truman Annex that everyone poses for pictures with.

Colombia’s finest (unterseeboots)

HI Sutton, who has been kinda enough to mirror some of our posts from LSOZI before at his excellent Covert Shores blog (and I do recommend going over there and checking it out regularly) penned a piece for Foreign Brief on the evolution of Narco Subs, which included this dope (no pun intended) info graphic (click to very much big up!)

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From the article:

2016 looks set to be a bumper year for narco-sub incidents.

Just last month, Colombian security forces discovered a 15-metre narco-sub in the jungle near the Pacific coast. A few weeks earlier, the U.S. Coast Guard published footage of a narco-sub intercepted off the Panamanian coast with 5.5 tonnes of cocaine on board, valued at $200 million. In March, an abandoned narco-sub was found stranded on a reef off the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico, its load of narcotics already unloaded by drug smugglers.

More here.

Mini sub off Ft. Lauderdale?

Beachcombers in the Highland Beach area came across a 20-foot long submersible like object stuck just offshore.  A Texas man saw it on Oct. 26 and, thinking it was a buoy, swam out 150 yards and photographed it, seeing a 6cyl engine and battery inside and a prop at the tail. Two hatches were open but no one was inside. Then he alerted police and the USCG who investigated it but left it in place.

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Putting a light on the object to mark it, a few days later it washed ashore, where others photographed it before it was moved by a tractor off the beach where DHS is picking up the investigation.

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Narco boat? Part of a migrant vessel? North Korean supersub? Who knows.

From the Sun Sentinel

U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Commander Eric Pare said the vessel could have been used to smuggle drugs into the country, though Pare said that is very unlikely.

“We have had these cases in the past,” Pare said, referring to drug submarines. “But they’re usually in the deep Caribbean, off the coast of South America or the eastern Pacific on the Mexican side; [or] the Pacific coast. It’s extremely rare to see something like this this far north.”

Another Narco Sub Bites the Dust

Mobile, Ala.-based Coast Guard Cutter assists interdiction of semi-submersible vessel in Caribbean Sea

MIAMI — Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Cypress on scene above a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel as members of the FBI Laboratory's Technical Dive Team, located at Quantico, Va., recover approximately seven tons of cocaine Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
MIAMI — Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Cypress on scene above a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel as members of the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team, located at Quantico, Va., recover approximately seven tons of cocaine Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea, Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

 

MIAMI — A sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel lay on the floor of the Western Caribbean Sea Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. Photo courtesy of the FBI Laboratory's Technical Dive Team located at Quantico, Va.
MIAMI — A sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel lies on the floor of the Western Caribbean Sea, Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea, Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. Photo courtesy of the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team located at Quantico, Va.

 

MIAMI — A member of the FBI Laboratory's Technical Dive Team located at Quantico, Va., recovers bales of cocaine from a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in the Western Caribbean Sea Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo.
MIAMI — A member of the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team located at Quantico, Va., recovers bales of cocaine from a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel in the Western Caribbean Sea, Oct. 19, 2011. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk interdicted the SPSS in the Western Caribbean Sea, Sept. 30, 2011, before its crew sank the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

 

MIAMI — The Coast Guard Cutter Cypress, a sea-going buoy tender, homeported in Mobile, Ala., assisted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk, a medium-endurance cutter homeported in Key West, Fla.,with the interdiction and search for a sunken self-propelled semi-submersible vessel, commonly referred to as a drug sub, in the Western Caribbean Sea, Sept. 30, 2011.

The Cypress commenced searching for the sunken SPSS, Oct. 17. Coast Guard crews and the FBI Laboratory’s Technical Dive Team, located at Quantico, Va., conducted multiple search patterns. The SPSS was located by the dive crew, Oct. 19.

The total interdiction is approximately seven tons and valued at nearly $180 million wholesale. The crew of the Mohawk stopped two SPSS vessels in 13 days. Used regularly to transport illegal narcotics in the Eastern Pacific, this interdiction is only the third Coast Guard interdiction of an SPSS in the Caribbean. The Coast Guard’s first interdiction of a drug smuggling, SPSS vessel in the Western Caribbean Sea happened July 13.

The crew of a maritime patrol aircraft deployed in support of Joint Interagency Task Force South operations in the Caribbean spotted a suspicious vessel and notified the Mohawk crew of the location.

The Mohawk-based Coast Guard helicopter crew and pursuit boatcrew interdicted the SPSS and detained its crew. The SPSS sank during the interdiction along with the contraband.

“The interdiction of a third SPSS in the Caribbean brings to a close an extremely successful fiscal year for the Coast Guard here in Southeast U.S. and Caribbean,” said Rear Adm. Bill Baumgartner, commander of the 7th Coast Guard District. “Working with our interagency and international partners, we detained 98 smugglers and prevented 60,064 pounds of cocaine and 4,412 pounds of marijuana with a combined street value of $727 million from reaching our streets. Although we have been finding highly creative and innovative ways to make our counter drug mission successful, we continued to be challenged by the maintenance requirements and limited capabilities of our aging fleet of larger ships. One of the greatest limitations to our success is the availability of large cutters to patrol the transit zones and new cutters, designed to patrol far offshore in District Seven, will ensure we continue to detect threats at greater distances from U.S. shores and meet the demands of our robust counter-drug mission.”

Built in the jungles and remote areas of South America, the typical SPSS is less than 100 feet in length, with four to five crewmembers and carries up to 10 metric tons of illicit cargo for distances up to 5,000 miles. Drug traffickers design SPSS vessels to be difficult to spot and rapidly sink when they detect law enforcement, thereby making contraband recovery difficult.

“This is the second self-propelled semi-submersibles case for this crew and I am extremely proud we were able to stop millions of dollars of cocaine from reaching the streets of America,” said Cmdr. Mark Fedor, Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk’s commanding officer. “They are a significant threat to our nation and throughout Central and South America because they can smuggle massive amounts of narcotics as well as other illicit goods or people, and we will continue to be out here and stand a vigilant watch.”

The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Customs and Border Protection and partner nation aircraft and vessel crews work together to conduct counter-drug patrols in the Caribbean.

Editor’s Note: For more information on the drug sub interdiction operations, contact the Seventh Coast Guard District External Affairs Office at (305) 415-6696.