The vessel was stopped in the Pacific Ocean by officials with the U.S. Coast Guard, who then arrested four suspected drug smugglers, according to ABC News.
On Sept. 5, crew members aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant and members of the Coast Guard Pacific Tactical Law Enforcement Team sent two small boats to board the 40-foot, self-propelled, semi-submersible ship. Officials were able to move 1,100 lbs. of cocaine to the Valiant; the rest couldn’t be safely offloaded because the submarine was unstable.
“The detection of a semi-submersible submarine is very difficult especially at night, that's when this one was spotted by an aircraft that was flying in a routine patrol in the area,” Coast Guard Lt. Commander Matthew Kroll told ABC News. “They vectored in the Coast Guard Cutter Valiant and in the early morning hours, the cutter launched one or two small boats to interdict the submarine.”
He continued, “The majority of the vessels that we interdict are coming out of South America, and they're trying to get their way to either southern Mexico or central Central America, via the eastern Pacific maritime routes. So that's where the majority of our assets, along with the assets of multiple Nations and other agencies, the United States that are working together to stop those transit zones.”
The U.S. Coast Guard has made several drug busts this month. The Coast Guard Cutter Seneca found over 12,000 lbs. of cocaine on Sept. 20 in Miami. Two other Coast Guard vessels, the Tahoma and the Midgett, seized more than 9,000 lbs. earlier in September.