Coast Guard Cutter Thetis crew seizes more than 1,100 lbs of cocaine

Coast Guard Cutter Thetis

Cutter Thetis file photo

KEY WEST, Fla. — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis interdicted a go-fast vessel carrying more than 1,100 pounds of cocaine and also detained five suspected smugglers off the coast of Nicaragua, Dec. 3.

At approximately 10 p.m., Dec. 3, Thetis crewmembers spotted a suspicious go-fast vessel. Thetis crewmembers launched their smallboat with a boarding team to investigate, while the crew of the nearby Coast Guard Cutter Spencer launched their embarked helicopter aircrew to assist in the interdiction.

A maritime patrol aircraft crew also arrived on scene to assist tracking the vessel as the suspects attempted to outrun multiple Coast Guard assets.

After more than three hours of chasing through rough seas, the suspects surrendered. The suspected smugglers jettisoned a majority of their illicit cargo into the ocean as Thetis’ boarding team closed in and boarded the vessel, securing the suspects and cargo. In addition to the five bales discovered remaining onboard the go-fast vessel, the smallboat crew was also able to recover 15 more bales floating nearby.

“This was a full team effort,” said Lt. j.g. Erin Palmer, Thetis’ lead boarding officer on the case. “We would not have been able to carry out this mission without the participation and expertise of everyone involved.”

The contraband and suspected smugglers were transferred to law-enforcement authorities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Thetis is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Key West.
The Spencer is a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Boston.

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