Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant Returns to Cape Canaveral After 52-day Caribbean Counter-Drug Patrol

discovered 1,900 pounds of cocaine hidden in a 70-foot ship

Coastguard cutter Vigilant and his crew returned to Cape Canaveral after a 52-day drug control patrol in the eastern Pacific. (U.S. Coast Guard image)

(US COAST GUARD) – The Cutter Vigilant and Coast Guard crew returned to Cape Canaveral after a 52-day anti-drug patrol in the Eastern Pacific.

During their patrol in the Pacific, Vigilant’s crew worked with several U.S. and partner assets, including Panama’s National Aeronaval Service (SENAN), Costa Rica’s drug control agency, a U.S. Navy warship and three Coast Guard cutters.

Vigilant’s crew participated in a two-day, multi-domain extended counter drug exchange with SENAN and demonstrated and practiced procedures for stopping drug smuggling ships and medical evacuation.

This promoted regional stability, economic prosperity and security through joint engagement.

The Vigilant’s crew banned a 70-foot fishing vessel suspected of drug smuggling.

The cutter’s crew discovered 1,900 pounds of cocaine hidden in the ship’s fuel tanks, with an estimated wholesale value of $ 26 million. (U.S. Coast Guard image)

The cutter’s crew discovered 1,900 pounds of cocaine hidden in the ship’s fuel tanks, with an estimated wholesale value of $ 26 million.

During the patrol, over 45 suspected drug traffickers crossed the deck of Vigilant from 13 different prohibitions carried out by various Coast Guard cutters and naval vessels.

“Our crew did an exceptional job providing care and security for so many inmates, especially given the additional challenges COVID has brought with it,” said Cmdr. Fred S. Bertsch, commanding officer of Vigilant.

The fight against drug cartels in the Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean requires a unified effort at all stages, from detection, surveillance, and bans to the prosecution of these bans by US law firms in the Middle District of Florida and the Southern District of Florida and the Southern District of California.

The law enforcement phase of anti-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the supervision of the 11th Coast Guard District based in Alameda. (U.S. Coast Guard image)

The law enforcement phase of anti-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific is conducted under the supervision of the 11th Coast Guard District based in Alameda.

The prohibitions, including actual boarding, are directed and enforced by members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Vigilant is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter stationed in Cape Canaveral.

The main job of the cutter includes search and rescue, illegal drug bans, bans on foreign migrants to ensure the safety of life at sea, and enforcement of international and national maritime law.

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