Beach-based Coast Guard cutter seizes $87M in cocaine during patrol

The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable transits toward the pier at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Sept. 27, 2016. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Coast Guard Cutter Dependable returned home Monday following a 48-day patrol in the Western Caribbean Sea and the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

During their patrol, the crew seized and disrupted over 6,600 pounds of cocaine, worth about $87 million. The Dependable’s crew worked with the Colombian Navy and the Costa Rican Coast Guard throughout the patrol.

The patrol was in support of the Coast Guard’s strategy to fight transnational criminal networks in the West. The operations involve proactive engagement with domestic and international partners to identify, target and defeat criminal networks.

The Dependable is a 210-foot Reliance Class Medium Endurance Cutter with 75 crew members. They conduct homeland security missions in offshore waters of the West, from New England to the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific.

Nearing its 49th year serving the U.S., the Dependable and 26 other aging, medium-endurance cutters are slated for replacement by new Offshore Patrol Cutters in 2021.