US Coast Guard filmed raiding moving submarine filled with £185m of cocaine
Bodycam footage captures moment crew member jumps on top of boat during drugs sting
The US Coast Guard has released bodycam footage of a raid on a moving submarine-type vessel filled with £185m of cocaine.
A crew member on board US Coastguard cutter Munro can be heard shouting “stop your boat now” in Spanish over the sound of the waves as he draws up beside the semi-submersible vessel, nicknamed a “narco-submarine”.
The coastguardsman can then be heard saying “that’s going to be hard to get on”, before he and another crew member, both dressed in green camouflage uniforms, leap on top of the self-propelled vessel in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The first man bangs his fist on the hatch of the hull before a man opens it and raises his hands in the air as commands are screamed at him.
Inside was 17,000lbs of cocaine worth about $232 million (£185m).
The drugs bust was just one of 14 similar raids by the US Coast Guard off the coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America between May and July this year.
In total, they have recovered more than 39,000lbs of cocaine and 933 lbs of cannabis worth an estimated $569m (£454m).
Lieutenant commander Stephen Brickey, a spokesman for the US Coast Guard Pacific Area, said pursuing the drug-smuggling boats was like the “white whale”.
He told the Washington Post: “They’re pretty rare. For us to get one, it’s a significant event.”
Around 80 per cent of drugs that enter the US come from the Pacific corridor and authorities stop about 11 per cent of semi-submersible boats, he said.
The Coast Guard increased US and allied presence in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Basin, which are known drug transit zones off the coast of Central and South America, as part of its Western Hemisphere Strategy.