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Virginia Beach-based Coast Guard cutter returns home after seizing $87 million in cocaine

The Coast Guard Cutter Dependable transits toward the pier at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Fort Story in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Sept. 27, 2016. Dependable returned home following a successful counter-drug and migrant patrol through the Florida Straights and the Caribbean Sea. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Melissa Leake)

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. – A Virginia Beach-based Coast Guard cutter returned home Monday after a 48-day patrol in the Western Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean.

During their patrol, the crew of the Cutter Dependable seized more than 6,600 pounds of cocaine with an estimated value of $87 million.

During the patrol, the Dependable’s crew worked with the Colombian Navy and the Costa Rican Coast Guard as part of the Coast Guard’s strategy to combat transnational criminal networks in the Western Hemisphere.

The 11th Coast Guard District, responsible for interdiction operations in the Eastern Pacific, registered a new record during the month of November, seizing approximately 41,786 pounds of cocaine.

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

The Dependable is nearly its 49th year serving the United States. In 2021, the Dependable and the 26 other aging medium-endurance cutters are slated to be replaced by new Offshore Patrol Cutters.