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Coast Guard Cutter Dependable returns to Virginia Beach after massive drug bust

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable returned home to Virginia Beach Thursday after a two-month patrol that resulted in multinational cocaine seizures.

Coast Guard Cutter Dependable (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Dependable’s crew patrolled the Eastern Pacific Ocean in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-South and interdicted two suspected smuggling vessels. The crew seized more than five and a half tons of cocaine worth nearly $146 million.

The Coast Guard said the seizure of the drugs shows the threat posed by the cartels, gangs and criminal groups that make up transnational criminal organizations.

A helicopter crew from the Jacksonville-based Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron provided the Dependable with airborne capabilities.

The Dependable’s crew also coordinated with several other U.S. Coast Guard cutters as well as ships from the Royal Canadian Navy and the Ecuadorian Coast Guard during the mission.

The Dependable is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter with a crew of more than 75 people. Its crew conducts homeland security missions in the offshore waters of the Western Hemisphere from New England to the Caribbean Sea and the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The cutter has been in service for almost 50 years.