Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Semper Paratus

Crews from the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin and Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron made a 4,000-pound cocaine bust Saturday afternoon, in the Colombian basin and detained four suspect smugglers from a go-fast vessel.

This bust is the first one of the new fiscal year, which began Oct. 1 and follows a record shattering year in FY 2004 with more than 240,000 pounds of cocaine seized in the Eastern Pacific and Caribbean.

The 40-foot drug-smuggling go-fast was spotted by Gallatin's embarked MH-68 Sting Ray helicopter crew in international waters Saturday at about 4:45 p.m. As soon as the crew aboard the go-fast knew they had been spotted, they began throwing bales overboard and a chase ensued.

The helicopter's crew gave the go-fast multiple visual and verbal warnings to stop, but they were ignored. At about 5:30, the Sting Ray was given permission to fire warning shots and disabling fire and safely disabled all three outboard engines on the go-fast.

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