Hawaii-based cutter seizes 5 tons of drugs


POSTED: Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Coast Guard cutter Jarvis returns home today after seizing 5 tons of narcotics last month from a small submarine off the coast of Central America.

The Coast Guard said the drug seizure occurred Oct. 21 after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection maritime patrol aircraft detected the submersible in international waters in the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Central America.

The Jarvis, already patrolling in the area, intercepted the submersible, boarded the vessel, and found that it was loaded with 5 tons of narcotics. The crew of the Jarvis seized the vessel and detained the four crewmembers.

The seized vessel, cargo and crew were taken to Guatemala. Initial field tests indicated the presence of cocaine, heroin and possibly other substances.

The Jarvis' crew also played a pivotal role in the search for survivors of a downed Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento HC-130 Hercules aircraft and a Marine Corps AH-1 Super Cobra helicopter 15 miles east of San Clemente Island, Calif., on Oct. 29. The Jarvis was the on-scene coordinator for the multi-agency search, which involved more than 20 search-and-rescue assets and covered an area of more than 644 square miles.

Seven Coast Guardsmen and two Marines lost their lives in the midair collision. The crash is under investigation.