USS Gary (FFG 51), her embarked Helicopter Squadron (HSL 49 Det. 4) and embarked U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment intercepted over 143 kilograms of cocaine Feb. 10 after intercepting a suspected narcotic-trafficking vessel in international waters off the coast of Central America.
The ship was on routine patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean while conducting flight operations with one of her SH-60B helicopters. During the patrol, a bridge watch stander noticed a small vessel on the horizon that appeared to be maneuvering at high speed. Gary alerted her SH-60B helicopter which hovered over the contact and identified it as a vessel suspected of smuggling narcotics.
Gary increased speed and quickly covered the distance between her and the suspect vessel. Upon reaching the vessel, Gary launched her small boat with joint LEDET and Navy boat crew with the ship’s SH-60B helicopter monitoring the vessel overhead as the small boat approached.
Gary’s boarding team discovered three personnel on board. A subsequent boarding and search of the vessel yielded 143 kilograms of cocaine stored in hidden compartments on board the vessel.
This marks Gary’s eighth successful interception in recent months, disrupting an approximated total of 5,704 kilograms of cocaine shipments off the coast of Central America.
Image: US Navy