On March 15, a U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment aboard her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Glace Bay, assigned to Joint Interagency Task Force South, patrolling the Caribbean Sea, identified the King Gold, a Panamanian-flagged fishing vessel suspected of smuggling drugs. The LEDET boarded the vessel, but did not find contraband onboard.
The 70-foot fishing vessel caught on fire and the Coast Guard safely disembarked six crewmembers from their vessel after the fire quickly spread from the engine room to the fuel tank causing the vessel to sink.
A subsequent search of the general area located approximately 97 bales containing approximately 2,400 kilograms cocaine – worth an estimated $80 million wholesale – floating in the water.
This case is currently under investigation by U.S. law enforcement officials.
There were no reports of injuries.
The contraband is scheduled to be off-loaded in Miami in mid-April.
Press Release, March 21, 2014; Image: US Navy