Coast Guard’s Law Enforcement Detachment Wins Internet with Daring Capture.
In only a few hours the remarkable video of a member of the Coast Guard’s elite Law Enforcement Detachment Team (LEDET) leaping from a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) onto the heaving deck of a narcotics smuggling submarine truly went viral. Millions of people viewed the remarkable scene that was shared by major news outlets around the world.
The video is incredible for several reasons. Firstly, it would take a lot of courage- and skill- to leap from a pitching Coast Guard RIB onto the slippery, rounded deck of a narco-submarine. The deck of the submarine is awash with surf, making it difficult to keep from going overboard. If the LEDET operator making the boarding fell between the Coast Guard vessel and the narco sub, he could easily be crushed to death and held underwater.
It’s also possible the crew of the submarine could have been armed, making the boarding even more dangerous. Luckily, the crew of the narco submarine appear to surrender the moment the hatch is opened on the sub.
The capture of the narco submarine shown in the now-famous video took place on June 18, 2019 in the eastern Pacific Ocean according to the U.S. Coast Guard. It was released to news media July 11, 2019 and had millions of views in only a few hours. The seizure captured eight tons of cocaine, or a staggering 17,000 pounds with an estimated street value of $232 million U.S. dollars. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met members of the elite Coast Guard team who participated in the seizure as the drugs were unloaded in San Diego on Thursday. The Vice President revealed that the daring high seas seizure will lead to the prosecution of 55 drug smugglers.
Drug interdiction is not the only mission of the Coast Guard’s Law Enforcement Detachment Teams (LEDET). The elite teams are also trained and tasked with counter-piracy and alien migrant interdiction operations.