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CARIB | Nov 22, 2020

47-day Caribbean patrol by US Coast Guard ends with drug seizures, arrests

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

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The Flight Deck crew aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Diligence conducting helicopter operations in the Western Caribbean Sea. (Photo: Ensign Ashley Hatfield for US Coast Guard )

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) says it has made several significant seizures and arrests after the crew of its Cutter Diligence vessel returned to homeport in Pensacola, Florida on Friday (November 20).

In a statement over the weekend, the Cutter Diligence, on a 47-day Caribbean Sea patrol reported that it conducted counter-drug operations in support of the Joint Interagency Task Force–South of the Homeland Security department.

The interagency task force routinely engages in detection and monitoring operations in the Caribbean to facilitate the interdiction of illicit trafficking in support of US national and partner nation security.

“During the patrol, Diligence intercepted a vessel with approximately 150 gallons of suspected liquefied cocaine and detained four suspected smugglers,” the USCG indicated.

Additionally, other US law enforcement agencies delivered more than 7,700 pounds of narcotics and six nabbed smugglers to the Diligence. The suspects had their cases successfully transferred to US authorities for prosecution.

“This patrol presented several unique and dynamic challenges,” said Diligence Commanding Officer Luke Slivinski. “Characteristic of seagoing service, we never know what adventures lay ahead. I am immensely proud of and impressed by Diligence’s crew for their steadfast ability to adapt to the task at hand and carry out the mission with professionalism and proficiency.”

USCG Cutter Diligence command meets with the Coast Guard Liaison Officer to Colombia and Senior Colombian Navy Leadership in Cartagena, Colombia. (Photo: Ensign Ashley Hatfield for US Coast Guard)

Working alongside interagency and international partners, the USCG is arguably the largest single deterrent against and response to dangerous and illegal maritime smuggling from Central and South America.

Diligence supported these efforts by patrolling the southwestern Caribbean Sea to detect and deter maritime smuggling in the region.

The 47-day patrol was also critical in allowing Diligence’s crew to work on shipboard training, qualifications and proficiency to maintain operational readiness.

According to the USCG statement, the cutter Diligence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Pensacola with a crew of 75.

The USCG CUtter Diligence in the western Caribbean Sea. (Photo: Ensign Ashley Hatfield for US Coast Guard)

Among its primary missions, the cutter Diligence is tasked with counter-drug operations, migrant interdiction, enforcing US federal fishery laws, as well as search and rescue in support of Coast Guard operations throughout the Western Hemisphere.

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