Caribbean Drug Subs Challenge Coast Guard

Thursday 29th, September 2011 / 07:25 Published by

KEY WEST, USA — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk, a medium-endurance cutter home-ported in Key West, Florida, interdicted a drug smuggling, self-propelled semi-submersible (SPSS) vessel, commonly referred to as a drug sub, in the western Caribbean Sea on September 17.

Used regularly to transport illegal narcotics in the Eastern Pacific, this interdiction is only the second 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 Coast Guard C-130 Hercules airplane spotted a suspicious vessel and notified the Mohawk crew of the location. The Hercules is designed for long range law enforcement patrols to allow identification and tracking of suspect vessels as well as search and rescue missions.

With the assistance of the Hercules crew, a Mohawk-based Coast Guard helicopter crew and pursuit boat crew interdicted the SPSS and detained its crew. The SPSS sank during the interdiction, but not before a quantity of cocaine was recovered.

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