Coast Guard Cutter Intercepts Vessel Smuggling Cocaine Worth $75M

A Coast Guard cutter Alert boarding team collects bales of cocaine from a suspected drug smuggling vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on May 26, 2023. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Hannah Peterman.

The Coast Guard cutter Alert has returned to its homeport of Astoria, Ore. after a 61-day counternarcotics patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean during which they intercepted a vessel with more than 2,600 kilograms of cocaine valued at some $75 million.

Coast Guard officials said in late May that a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Marine Patrol Aircraft crew had notified the Alert of a suspected vessel, prompting the cutter to deploy a helicopter and aircrew, along with a small boat and law enforcement boarding team.

The law enforcement phase of counter-smuggling operations in the Eastern Pacific Ocean is conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda, Calif. The interdictions, including the actual boardings, are conducted the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Alert, commissioned in 1969, is a 210-foot cutter that performs a variety of missions to protect Americans and American interests in the Northern and Eastern Pacific Ocean.