U.S. Navy landing dock ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) recovered a bale of marijuana Oct. 23 found adrift while conducting training exercises off the Southern California coastline.
Pearl Harbor was conducting underway training exercises when crewmembers spotted a suspicious object adrift near the ship. Upon recovery and inspection it was determined that the object was a bale of marijuana weighing approximately 49 pounds.
“You never know what you may come across anytime you are at sea. The crew members who initially spotted the floating object had the foresight and diligence to take the appropriate action and as a result these drugs won’t find themselves in the wrong hands,” said Cmdr. Michael Harris, commanding officer of the Pearl Harbor.
Upon confirmation, the bale was immediately placed in a secure location. The United States Coast Guard was contacted and arrangements were made for the transfer of custody of the marijuana.
“The Coast Guard is always appreciative of the watchful, vigilant eye of the Navy. Partnering with the Navy, MTF [Maritime Task Force], and all of our San Diego agencies is the most effective way to ensure the safety and security of our borders,” said Cmdr. Jeremy Smith, chief of response, USCG.
Pearl Harbor is assigned as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) stationed out of San Diego. Expeditionary Strike Group THREE commander, Rear Adm. Fernandez Ponds, sent his congratulations to the officers and crew commending them for their alertness and a job well done.
“The Pearl Harbor and her crew continue to be a standard bearer of operational excellence, their vigilance is yet another demonstration of the range of our amphibious force capabilities,” said Ponds.
Pearl Harbor recently returned from a four-month deployment in the Oceania region in support of Pacific Partnership 2013; a mission focused on building sustained capacity, improving maritime security and stability in the Pacific region, as well as strengthening Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) preparedness while improving multilateral interoperability.
Press Release, October 25, 2013; Image: Royal Navy