U.S. Coast Guard seizes $50.8M worth of cocaine, rescues stranded sailor

An aircrew from the Helicopter Interdiction Squadron (HITRON) aboard an MH-65 Dolphin performs night vision goggle deck landing qualifications aboard the USCGC Active (WMEC 618) while patrolling the Eastern Pacific Ocean. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

After completing a 54-day mission patrolling the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Coast Guard reported saving a person's life and stopping the trafficking of cocaine valued at approximately $50.8 million.

The crew of the USCG Cutter Active returned home to Port Angeles on Friday from their multi-mission counternarcotics operation.

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(Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

Aside from the 3,858-pound cocaine seizure, the crew disrupted two other drug smuggling attempts. The Cutter Active covered more than 12,000 nautical miles, approximately five times the length of the continental United States.

"Any interdiction at sea is challenging, with a variety of factors at every step, and no two are ever the same," said Cmdr. Adam Disque, Active’s commanding officer. "The cases we encountered on this patrol were particularly difficult, and the crew fought through obstacles at every turn, working extremely hard to accomplish this mission. I could not be more proud of the team as they fully embodied our cutter’s nickname, ‘The Li’l Tough Guy’."

Coast Guard saves sailor near Galapagos Islands

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Active responding to a sailor in distress 300 miles away from the Galapagos Islands. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

On April 12, the USCG Cutter Active rescued a sailor in distress nearly 300 miles northeast of the Galapagos Islands.

The sailor's boat was incapacitated, and he had been adrift at sea. He reported to the USCG that a pod of whales had damaged his sailboat.

The Active diverged from its course and sped over 200 miles to save the marooned sailor.

"This sailor was very fortunate that we happened to be in the area; he was far from normal shipping lanes and well out of range for any coastal rescue system," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Gordon Smith, an Active crewmember who participated in the search planning. "It was fortunate that we were able to find him relatively quickly and get him on board before the weather or situation deteriorated."

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