U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spencer returns to Portsmouth after 78-day patrol, counter-narcotics mission in Eastern Pacific

Posted at 5:58 AM, Jun 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-08 05:58:32-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spencer returned to Portsmouth after helping intercept narcotics traffickers in the Pacific Ocean during a 78-day patrol off the shores of Central America.

USCGC Spencer left Portsmouth on February 12, 2022, making a stop in Mayport, Florida to bring aboard a Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron crew before steaming to Honduran territorial seas to participate in tactical demonstrations with members of the Honduran Naval Special Forces.

After passing through the Panama Canal, USCGC Spencer disrupted illicit narcotics trafficking in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

The Coast Guard said law enforcement teams from the USCGC Spencer intercepted a go-fast vessel with over 300 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana aboard. Later during the patrol, the embarked HITRON crew spotted a smuggling vessel that caught fire; the Spencer's crew recovered three survivors, along with several bales of cocaine that were thrown off the boat before it sank.

USCGC Spencer also assisted Costa Rican authorities in detaining six suspected drug traffickers who were caught smuggling laundered money on a fishing vessel.

“We were able to provide effective coverage of known drug smuggling 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 most importantly that everyone returned home safely. These deployments are undoubtedly the most challenging for our members due to their stressful operational tempo and distance from home. The crew demonstrated incredible perseverance day in and day out, worked as a team, and had fun along the way, which made the experience meaningful and memorable for us all.”

Coast Guard Cutter Spencer is a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter with a 100-person crew complement. The vessel's homeport is in Portsmouth, Virginia.