PORTSMOUTH, Va. – U.S. Coast Guard crew Cutter Spencer returned to Portsmouth after helping intercept narcotics traffickers in the Pacific Ocean during a 78-day patrol off the coast of Central America.
The USCGC Spencer departed Portsmouth on February 12, 2022, calling at Mayport, Florida to board a Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Squadron Tactical Crew before heading to the seas Honduran territorial forces to participate in tactical demonstrations with members of the Honduran naval special forces.
After passing through the Panama Canal, the USCGC Spencer disrupted illicit narcotics trafficking in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.
The Coast Guard said USCGC Spencer law enforcement crews intercepted a fast vessel with more than 300 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana on board. Later during the patrol, the embarked HITRON crew spotted a smuggling vessel which caught fire; the Spencer’s crew recovered three survivors, along with several balls of cocaine that were thrown from the boat before it sank.
USCGC Spencer also helped Costa Rican authorities arrest six suspected drug traffickers who were caught smuggling laundered cash on a fishing boat.
“We were able to provide effective coverage of known drug trafficking routes alongside our domestic and foreign partners during this patrol,” said Cmdr. Corey Kerns, commanding officer of USCGC Spencer. “I am grateful that we were able to support the counter-narcotics mission in the Eastern Pacific and, more importantly, that everyone returned home safely. These deployments are arguably the most challenging for our members due to their stressful operational tempo and distance from home. The crew showed incredible perseverance day after day, worked as a team and had fun along the way which made the experience meaningful and memorable for all of us.
Coast Guard Cutter Spencer is a 270ft medium endurance cutter with a crew of 100. The ship’s homeport is Portsmouth, Virginia.