Coast Guard seizes nearly seven tons of cocaine, rescues sea turtle

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Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017

Source: U.S. Coast Guard

KEY WEST, Fla. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Thetis returned to Key West on Sunday following a 68-day Eastern Pacific counter-drug patrol, in which they seized nearly seven tons of cocaine and rescued a trapped sea turtle.

While on patrol on Nov. 19, the cutter launched a small boat to investigate a debris field. The boat crew discovered the large sea turtle entangled in multiple bales of suspected contraband.

Coast Guard Ens. Mark Krebs, the pursuit mission commander, said in a release that as his team arrived on scene with the jettison field, they immediately noticed the entangled sea turtle. They saw significant chaffing from the lines on his neck and flippers. They briefed the commanding officer and went to work, carefully cutting the lines wrapped around the sea turtle and then eventually freeing him.

Nearly seven tons of illicit narcotics with a street value over $135 million were seized and destroyed.

The boat crew reportedly recovered over 75-feet of line to prevent further entanglement of sea life and returned to the law enforcement mission recovering over 1,800 pounds of cocaine valued at over $53 million dollars from international waters.