Tuesday, March 29, 2016

HMCS Summerside & Saskatoon assist in seizure of almost 700 kg of cocaine

Written by David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen 

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Summerside and Saskatoon assisted in the seizure of almost 700 kg of cocaine while on patrol in the Caribbean Sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean, says the Royal Canadian Navy. The ships were taking part in Operation CARIBBE.

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Summerside crashes through rough seas during the transit to the Caribbean for Operation CARRIBE on January 30, 2016. 

Photo: DND Imagery Technician, Formation Imaging Services
Le Navire canadien de Sa Majesté (NCSM) Summerside vogue sur une mer agitée en direction des Caraïbes en vue de participer à l’opération CARRIBE, le 30 janvier 2016. 

Photo : Technicien en imagerie du MDN, Services d’imagerie de la formation

The interception involving HMCS Summerside took place on March 7 in international waters off the coast of Nicaragua when the ship located and approached a 12-metre long sailing vessel suspected of smuggling, the RCN noted. Members of a United States Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment, embarked on HMCS Summerside, questioned the master and subsequently boarded the vessel, the RCN stated in a news release. During the search, the team discovered and seized 16 bales weighing 324 kg that later tested positive for cocaine.

The other drug seizure by the RCN took place later.

During the evening of March 19, the crew of HMCS Saskatoon, its embarked U.S. Coast Guard team, and a U.S. maritime patrol aircraft were conducting a regular patrol monitoring targets of interest in international waters off the coast of Central America. One of the vessels being monitored, a “panga” style fishing boat, jettisoned its cargo and fled at high speed. Once on scene, crew members of HMCS Saskatoon and the U.S. Coast Guard team found and retrieved 10 bales of cocaine from the water, with a combined weight of approximately 360 kg.