Cutter Tahoma interdicts two potential drug smuggling vessels

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.– The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma worked with Costa Rican authorities after two suspected go-fast vessels were interdicted off the coast of Costa Rica Sunday night and Monday morning.

During the Sunday night interdiction the suspect vessel fled into Costa Rican territorial waters. With the authorization of Costa Rican authorities, a Tahoma smallboat crew was able to pursue and stop the vessel in Costa Rican waters. The Costa Rican coast guard deployed a vessel to the location where they conducted a joint boarding with a Tahoma law-enforcement team. Since the vessel was stopped in Costa Rican waters they were taken into custody by Coast Rican authorities for any future prosecution.

The second go-fast was intercepted just outside of Costa Rican territorial waters Monday morning, but the vessel was determined by Tahoma’s law-enforcement team as being registered in Costa Rica. Again, the Costa Rican coast guard launched a patrol boat to assist in the case. In both cases no drugs were found, but there were numerous indications of illicit activity including stories which were inconsistent with observed actions, lack of fishing gear and excess fuel.

These cases demonstrate the determination of the U.S. and Costa Rican Coast Guards to continue their long-standing cooperation to combat the maritime movement of narcotics.

Tahoma is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter home ported in Kittery, Maine.

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