The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett, homeported here, and a Navy maritime patrol aircraft crew teamed up to interdict a stateless (unflagged,) self-propelled, semi-submersible vessel Wednesday with seven tons of cocaine aboard approximately 400 miles south of the Mexico-Guatemala border.
The 60-foot, self-propelled, semi-submersible (SPSS) craft was detected by the crew of the Navy aircraft which vectored the crew of the Midgett to the location of the SPSS. The Coast Guard quickly commenced a boarding of the stateless SPSS. The Coast Guard boarding team located 295 bales of cocaine, valued at more than $196 million, in a huge forward compartment. The SPSS became unstable and began to sink during the transfer of the bales of cocaine from the SPSS to Midgett. The condition of the vessel made it unsafe to tow and Midgett’s crew sank the vessel as a hazard to navigation.