Coast Guard seizes cocaine, rescues suspected smugglers in Eastern Pacific Ocean

SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, Calif - The Coast Guard Cutter Midgett and a Coast Guard HC-130 cast wreaths into the water to pay tribute to the 7 Coast Guard aircrew and 2 Marine Pilots who lost there lives there in a mid-air collision Oct. 29, 2009. U.S. Coast Guard Photo by Chief Warant Office 3 Scott Epperson.

Cutter Midgett - USCG File Photo

EASTERN PACIFIC – The Coast Guard Cutter Midgett seized approximately four kilograms of cocaine from the 35-foot vessel, Laurie Alena, over 450 miles off the coast of Guatemala, Dec. 16, 2010.

The Laurie Alena was intercepted due to suspicion of drug trafficking involvement. When the Midgett neared the vessel, the Laurie Alena began to sink forcing the crew to abandon ship and use debris for floatation.

Two crewmembers of the Laurie Alena were quickly pulled to safety aboard the cutter using life rings. The other was saved by the Midgett’s rescue swimmer.

Four approximately kilogram-sized packages, testing positive for cocaine, were  recovered from the vessel’s wreckage.

The cutter Midgett is home ported in Seattle, Wash. and conducts missions in homeland security, search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, and drug and alien migrant interdiction operations in the Bering Sea and Central American waters.

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