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Narcotics Intercepted by Coast Guard

by Eva Seelye

Coast Guard Cutter ActiveThe Coast Guard cutter Active arrived home to Port Angeles after interdicting three suspected smuggling vessels during their 50-day eastern Pacific Ocean patrol. An Air Station Port Angeles aircrew and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter accompanied the 75-member Active crew (including two Chilean Navy members) during their deployment, and together, they disrupted the movement of more than $87 million worth of narcotic drugs; amounting to about 5,749 pounds of illegal substances.

Commissioned in 1966 in Port Angeles, Active – a Medium Endurance Cutter – stretches 210’ long and conducts nine of the eleven Coast Guard statutory missions. She’s routinely employed along the West Coast from the Strait of Juan de Fuca down to Central America for search and rescue, drug interdiction, fisheries enforcement, and homeland security assignments.

Active’s Commanding Officer Captain Stephen V. Burdain reflects on his experience: “I have been continuously impressed with the drive, skill, pride, and camaraderie that exists aboard Active,” he states. “This crew has pushed each other to gain qualifications and proficiency, they have met uncertainty with a resolve to persevere, and they have safely overcome numerous equipment casualties to remain in the fight and achieve success during our counter-narcotics mission. I’m proud to be part of Active’s crew and look forward to Active’s continued success in the future.”

The U.S. Coast Guard can conduct such interdictions in international waters due to their bilateral agreements with other nations. Coast Guard District Eleven oversees Coast Guard cutters’ counter-drug operations in the eastern Pacific Ocean in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-S).

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