WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Diligence prevented nearly 2,500 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $60 million from making it to the United States.
The vessel returned to Wilmington Tuesday after a 62-day patrol of missions ranging from public affairs in Philadelphia, to drug interdiction operations stretching from Mexico to Panama.
According to the Coast Guard, law enforcement from Diligence stopped three high-speed vessels smuggling narcotics and forced one vessel to throw its contraband overboard before running away.
“We’re very proud to have been part of the efforts to combat the flow of illegal drugs to our nation,” said Cmdr. Justin Carter, the commanding officer of the Diligence. “It was an exciting patrol, and our crew performed exceptionally during every opportunity to we had to pursue and interdict smugglers at sea, and throughout a deployment that had great challenges. We are thankful to be home and with our families after a great deployment!”
The Diligence focused on crew training in damage control, boat operations, engineering casualty control and ship handling to help many new crew members complete their required shipboard qualifications when they were not conducting law enforcement activities during the patrol.
The Diligence is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Wilmington, and it’s primary missions include counter drug and migrant interdiction, enforcing federal fishery laws and search and rescue operations.