U.S. Coast Guardsmen successfully tracked down and seized a semi-submersible “narco-submarine” containing more than 17,000 pounds of cocaine. A dramatic video of the crackdown shows several guardsmen running down the vessel and one yelling in Spanish, “Stop your boat! Now!” before pounding on the hatch of the submarine in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, The Washington Post reports. A suspected drug trafficker then opens the hatch and puts his hands up as guardsmen surround him amid the crashing waves. The successful mission, which happened on June 18 hundreds of miles off the Colombian and Ecuadoran coast, is a rarity in stopping the ever-elusive drug-filled submarines. Most of the boats are never spotted, and smugglers on them are often armed.
Lt. Commander Stephen Brickey, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Pacific Area, told the Post: “For us to get one, it’s a significant event.” Around 80 percent of drugs entering the U.S. come from the Pacific corridor, and around 11 percent are successfully stopped. Brickey likened the patrol of the Pacific to a pair of police cars being responsible for monitoring the entire continental U.S. The alleged smugglers caught by the Coast Guard have been taken into custody for prosecution.