Coast Guard cutter returns home after seizing $115M in cocaine

Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members inspect a go-fast vessel in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean Jan. 16, 2020. Coast Guard crews seized nearly 20,000 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $338 million, through eight separate suspected drug smuggling interdictions and disruptions off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America by four Coast Guard cutters between November 2019 and January 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo).

Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members inspect a go-fast vessel in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean Jan. 16, 2020. (U.S. Coast Guard photo).

ALAMEDA, California — The Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) returned home to Alameda Sunday after a 78-day deployment during which they seized an estimated $115 million worth of cocaine from suspected smugglers in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The crew patrolled known drug-transit zones of the Eastern Pacific between late December and mid-January, interdicting three suspected drug-smuggling vessels yielding a total of 6,680 pounds of pure cocaine.

The cocaine seized by Munro’s crew and three other Coast Guard cutters was part of a nearly 20,000-pound haul of cocaine offloaded in San Diego Feb. 11.

This patrol was Munro’s second deployment to the Eastern Pacific since the cutter’s commissioning in 2017. Last July, Vice President Pence attended Munro’s offload of more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana worth more than $500 million. That offload included contraband found a board a self-propelled, semi-submersible vessel interdicted by Munro’s crew June 18th, which was carrying over 17,000 pounds of cocaine.

Following February’s offload, the crew began a multi-week long Tailored Ship’s Training Availability, a set of drills, inspections and exercises that assess a ship’s mission readiness and damage control capabilities. The crew passed all 136 required drills, with an overall average of 97%.

“I truly could not have asked for a better crew with whom to share these memories, but we didn’t do this alone,” said Capt. Jim Estramonte, Munro’s commanding officer. “Through all our adventures, the friends and family members of Munro’s crew have supported us. It is their hard work at home that allows us to serve. Their sacrifice does not go unnoticed. So thank you to all those that make our success possible.”

Munro is one of four National Security Cutters homeported in Alameda. These Legend class cutters are 418-feet long, 54-feet wide, and have a 4,600 long-ton displacement. They have a top speed in excess of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 nautical miles, endurance of up to 90 days and can hold a crew of nearly 150.


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