Cutter Dallas interdicts self-propelled semi-submersible on high seas

EASTERN PACIFIC – The Coast Guard cutter Dallas interdicted a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel carrying more than 3 tons of cocaine, earlier this week.

Commonly referred to as an SPSS, this type of vessel was carrying more than 6,500 pounds of cocaine. The SPSS operates with most of its bulk submerged beneath the surface of the water, and is a primary method for transporting cocaine to the United States. The low profile can make it difficult to detect. The SPSS vessels are also routinely equipped with a scuttling valve that allows operators to sink the vessel before Coast Guard boarding teams arrive on scene.

Dallas’ successful interdiction is a significant accomplishment which furthers the detection and interception of SPSS vessels in the counter drug mission.

A self propelled semi-submersible vessel carrying 3 metric tons of cocaine floats in the Pacific Ocean.

This was the second seizure in a week for Dallas. The crew of the cutter seized more than 2.5 tons of cocaine from an 87-foot Mexican flagged fishing vessel. The contraband was stored in a hidden compartment that was built into the fishing vessel’s fuel tank.

To date, the Dallas has removed more than 10,000 pounds of cocaine valued at more than $122 million and has detained eight individuals for illicit drug trafficking.

The Dallas, homeported in Charleston, S.C., has a crew of 160 who carry out homeland security, search and rescue, and law enforcement missions from New England to South America.

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