DND Press Release
April 8, 2016 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Further to the drug seizures of March 7 and March 19, 2016, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Saskatoon and Edmonton assisted in separate cocaine disruptions while on patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean on March 25, 2016.
On that day, HMCS Edmonton and its embarked United States Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) were assisted by United States Ship (USS)Lassen in intercepting a vessel of interest in international waters off the coast of Central America. The vessel intercepted, a “panga”-style fishing boat, was identified by a Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) while on routine patrol. With the help of USS Lassen’s embarked helicopter, the vessel was hailed to stop, after which it began to jettison its cargo. HMCS Edmonton assisted the LEDET who took positive control of the vessel and retrieved 27 bales of cocaine from the water, weighing a total of 650 kilograms.
The interception involving HMCS Saskatoon and its embarked LEDET began the evening of March 25 when a MPA conducting a routine patrol located a target of interest in international waters off the coast of Central America. The vessel, a “panga”-style fishing boat, jettisoned its cargo and fled the scene. After several hours of searching, HMCS Saskatoon found the jettison field in the early morning of March 26, and 16 bales of cocaine were retrieved from the water, weighing a total of 640 kilograms.
Operation CARIBBE is Canada’s contribution to Operation MARTILLO, the U.S. Southern Command Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-South) counter-drug detection and monitoring operations in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean.
“This interception was another example of the interoperability and continued cooperation between the Royal Canadian Navy, the United States Navy, and the United States Coast Guard. With USS Lassen’s helicopter providing over watch, HMCS Edmonton and its embarked Law Enforcement Detachment worked together seamlessly to board the vessel of interest and clear the jettison field. I am incredibly proud of the work done by both ships’ companies and their Law Enforcement Detachments in suppressing the flow of narcotics into North America.” Said Lieutenant-Commander Lucas Kenward, Commanding Officer, HMCS Edmonton
“It was all hands on deck for this specific seizure and I am proud of the dedication and commitment displayed by the ship’s company. This recent success showcases the strength in teamwork and working as a cohesive unit to suppress criminal activity in the region.” said Lieutenant-Commander Todd Bacon, Commanding Officer, HMCS Saskatoon