After more than 18,000 nautical miles and 77 days on patrol, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf returned to Alameda, Calif. from a trek through the Eastern Pacific Ocean, the Guard announced Dec. 3.
During that time, the 418-foot Legend-class national security cutter engaged in drug enforcement, including the boardings of several suspected drug-smuggling vessels that resulted in detaining a number of suspected smugglers and seizing of more than 1,050 pounds of cocaine, according to the Coast Guard.
This was done while providing enforcement off the Central and South America coasts in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South, a multiservice, multiagency effort.
The Bertholf also offloaded the more than 4,000 pounds of marijuana interdicted by the crew members of Coast Guard cutter Bertholf. That and the cocaine amounted to over $18 million in drugs that were offloaded in San Diego, the Guard said.
During a port call in Manta, Ecuador, Bertholf crew members also hosted the U.S. ambassador to Ecuador and other high level Ecuadorian officials.
Capt. Timothy Brown, Bertholf’s commanding officer, said it was a great honor to host the ambassador and Ecuador’s top officials.
“While we were there, their country was rocked by a series of deadly attacks perpetrated by drug trafficking organizations, highlighting in an all-too-real way the importance of our international partnerships focused on fighting crime and violence across the Western Hemisphere,” Brown said. “The meeting was an opportunity for Bertholf and the U.S. Coast Guard to highlight the importance of the drug-interdiction mission and the role our international partners have in maritime safety and security.”