US, Canada recover drugs lost at sea: navy

By on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

FBI divers aided by the US Coast Guard and a Canadian warship recovered a drug cargo in the Caribbean from a scuttled self-propelled semi-submersible, the Canadian navy said Monday.

The FBI laboratory’s technical dive team backed by the United States Coast Guard Cutter Cypress and Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship St. John’s recovered more than 6,700 kg of cocaine from the vessel in the Caribbean Basin, said a statement.

The semi-sub was scuttled off the coast of Honduras by traffickers being pursued by US and Honduran forces, an official said but declined to say when the cocaine was recovered.

According to a Honduran general, three suspects were arrested on November 20 but the vessels had remained out of reach of authorities then, some 3,000 feet (more than 900 meters) underwater.

A helicopter from the St. John’s was called upon during the operation to evacuate a sailor from the Cypress to a hospital in the region. Details of the medical emergency were not disclosed.

The drugs were destined for distribution in North America and had an estimated street value of US$180 million, said the Canadian navy.

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