My Coast Guard
Commentary | Oct. 7, 2021

Frontline Focus: Coast Guard nabs two smugglers, seizes $7.5 million in cocaine following interdiction in Caribbean Sea

By Janki Patel, MyCG Writer

Coast Guard nabs two smugglers, seizes $7.5 million in cocaine following interdiction in Caribbean Sea. On Sept. 25, the Coast Guard Cutter Reef Shark transferred custody of two smugglers and offloaded approximately 250 kilograms of cocaine at Coast Guard Base San Juan, following Coast Guard Cutter Kathleen Moore’s interdiction of a go-fast smuggling vessel in the Caribbean Sea. The apprehended smugglers are Dominican Republic nationals who were charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine aboard a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. “The crew did a great job working with interagency partners and Coast Guard watchstanders preventing this drug smuggling go-fast from making landfall,” said Lt. Andrew R. Collins, Cutter Kathleen Moore commanding officer. “We are glad to help keep these drugs off the streets, and we will continue to work diligently with fellow Coast Guard units and our interagency partners to stop these drug-smuggling attempts in the high seas.” Read more.

Coast Guard patrols international waters in an effort to strengthen maritime governance and US-Samoan partnership. The Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Berry crew conducted patrol operations in Samoa’s exclusive economic zone in September 2021, deepening the close partnership with Samoa and promoting resource security within the area. The Cutter Oliver Berry’s crew helped to fill the policing gap for illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing while Samoa’s Nafanua II patrol boat was out of service. “The Oliver Berry’s patrol operations highlighted the close U.S.-Samoa partnership and our shared commitment to ensuring security and freedom of navigation in the Pacific,” said Acting ChargĂ© d’Affaires Mark Hitchcock. “We look forward to working with the Samoan government and Coast Guard to facilitate additional patrols in the near future.” Read more. 

Coast Guard holds first-of-their-kind fuel workshops, trains examiners from across US. Personnel from the Coast Guard’s Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise led the service’s inaugural low-flashpoint fuel workshops in Jacksonville, Florida, from Sept. 13-17 and Sept. 20-24. Workshop instructors trained the first wave of Coast Guard low-flashpoint fuel examiners serving at units from across the U.S. This training enhanced examiners’ technical competence on low-flashpoint fuel systems, which will promote national examination consistency and mitigate risks throughout the U.S. Marine Transportation System. “The Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise plays a critical role in ensuring the Coast Guard maintains pace with an industry that continues to evolve and innovate to reduce environmental impacts,” said Lt. Cmdr. William Hickey, detachment chief, LGC NCOE. “The low-flashpoint fuel workshops directly support the line of effort of transforming workforce capacity and partnerships within the Coast Guard’s Maritime Commerce Strategic Outlook.” Read more

Coast Guard rescues two from vessel taking on water near Gulfport, Mississippi. On Sept. 25, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a report from Coast Guard Station Gulfport of a 17-foot vessel taking on water with two people aboard north of Cat Island. Station Gulfport launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew to respond. The boatcrew arrived on scene and was able to tow the vessel and the two people onboard back to Long Beach Harbor. Both people were reported to be in stable condition. Following the rescue, it was determined that the vessel did not have any flares onboard. "The Coast Guard recommends people check to make sure they have all the required safety equipment before getting underway,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Moore, Sector Mobile command duty officer. “Not having the required safety equipment can be detrimental to a successful response effort.” Read more.