Drug Smugglers Use Packages Of Cocaine To Stay Afloat After Shipwreck
Three suspected drug smugglers managed to stay afloat following a shipwreck by clinging to the bricks of cocaine they had allegedly been smuggling.
Crew members aboard Colombian navy vessel spotted the three men holding onto the packets in the Pacific Ocean, located approximately 30 nautical miles from the coast of the port city of Tumaco, in Colombia.
It’s believed the men had been floating in the ocean for at least three hours after their boat was struck by a wave and sank. A fourth man – who had also been on board at the time – is reportedly still missing.
Check out footage of the shipwreck and floating cocaine here:
Video footage recorded by rescuers shows the men floating in the ocean, surrounding by bundles of cocaine wrapped in black packaging.
In the video, the men can be seen being pulled from the water after rescuers throw them life rings. They were then each given medical attention on account of the amount of time they had spent in the water.
Authorities have since confirmed the packets they had been using as makeshift floats contained 1.2 tonnes of cocaine.
The three men have reportedly been arrested and detained following the incident, and are set to be ‘prosecuted for the trafficking, fabrication and handling of narcotics’. At the time of writing, it’s unclear whether or not the men have been charged.
The navy are reportedly continuing to search the area for the fourth person who is believed to have been on the boat at the time of the sinking.
So far, in 2019 alone, the Colombian Navy has seized 163 tonnes of cocaine. As reported by USA Today, a separate incident saw the US Coast Guard seize six tonnes of cocaine – worth $165 million – from a 40-foot submarine discovered in the Pacific Ocean.
In a statement, the Coast Guard spoke of the significance of this large scale haul:
The joint boarding successfully stopped a drug smuggling vessel and also strengthened international relations and communications between the two partner nations.
This incident was one of several substantial drug hauls carried out by the Coast Guard this month. Just last week, Coast Guard crews seized over six tonnes of cocaine from multiple vessels off the western coast of Mexico, Central America and South America.
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