Social media users are gushing after watching dramatic footage of the seizure of a drug-laden submarine in international waters in the Pacific Ocean by the US Coast Guard.
.@VP is welcoming back the crew of CG Cutter Munro as they turn over 39K lbs of cocaine from drug seizures like this one from a semi-submersible off South America to federal agents. We will be live-streaming the offload on Facebook in a few hours. More: https://t.co/5eQRbQpxw5 pic.twitter.com/9bMRorDC4I— U.S. Coast Guard (@USCG) 11 июля 2019 г.
The seizure, which took place on 18 June, shows Coast Guard boats in hot pursuit of the sub, approaching it from two sides before heavily armed officers pounce onto its deck and proceed to pound on its hatch. The man behind the camera yells "It's going to be hard to get in," before the first officer jumps on the sub and starts pounding, with the hatch opening to reveal one of the smugglers putting his hands up in surrender.
The seizure was just one of 14 major drug seizure operations between May and June which enabled the Coast Guard to bring in a haul of over 17.69 tonnes of cocaine, and 420 kilograms of marijuana. The drugs were said to have a street value of over $569 million. The five people aboard the sub in the video have been turned over to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
A spokesman told US media that seizure was "pretty rare," with getting even one such sub being a "significant event." It's estimated that while about 80 percent of the drugs entering the US from Central and South America come through the Pacific corridor, which authorities successfully confiscating just 11 percent of the semi-submersible boats used in such operations.
Uploaded on the Coast Guard's official Twitter and Facebook accounts, the feat of bravery has received widespread praise, including from President Donald Trump, who tweeted out about the "Amazing drug seizure" and asked "Do you believe this kind of bravery?"
Do you believe this kind of bravery? Amazing drug seizure. WATCH! https://t.co/M1KKBFic4A— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 12 июля 2019 г.
The drug seizure has also received widespread praise from other users, who saluted the coastguard for a "job well done," and saying they would "sleep better" at night "knowing you all are on duty." Others posted memes of an irritated Tony Montana from Scarface reacting to the loss of the drug-laden sub.
I Salute You USCG Job Well Done— Frank A Sampson (@FrankASampson) 11 июля 2019 г.
Thank you for all you do! That was incredibly brave move shown in the video. Wow! I will sleep better tonight knowing you all our on duty.— Joe J. Grabowski (@JoeJGrabowski) 11 июля 2019 г.
Some users attempted to turn the move into a partisan shouting match, recalling President Trump's move to cut the Coast Guard budget, his border wall project, and that the Coast Guard allegedly weren't paid for 35 days during the recent government shutdown. Others accused the Democrats of wanting to "get rid of the Coast Guard" altogether.
See -- this is how you stop the drug flow! Not through a useless, massively expensive "Wall" that @realDonaldTrump is demanding. Thank you for showing us the effective methods you use.— Spicy Me 💔 (@yourspiceoflife) 12 июля 2019 г.
Except they were paid....— blank (@rissa_griffin) 12 июля 2019 г.
Today @AOC said she wanted to get rid of the Coast Guard. lmfao.— Willie Saylor (@WillieAtFLO) 12 июля 2019 г.
A few users had their doubts about the bust, calling the video "blatantly fake," or focused on the "good engineering" of the sub itself.
that coast guard coke sub video from VOA is blatantly fake.— michael raftery (@86reality) 12 июля 2019 г.
Good engineering !— johnhand (@johnhand9) 11 июля 2019 г.
The reaction on Facebook was similarly upbeat, for the most part. "Now THIS is the kind of video that will get you positive press! The public just doesn't understand what you guys really do. This helps!" one user wrote. "Incredible [though] how scary and dangerous to balance through the currents," another chimed in.
The drug sub seizure was the latest in a series of major drug crackdowns announced by US authorities. Last week, a ship owned by JP Morgan Chase with 20 tonnes of cocaine worth $1.3 billion on board was seized in a Philadelphia port on 4 July, with the operation being the largest drug seizure ever carried out by the Customs and Border Protection agency. JP Morgan has yet to comment on how so much cocaine ended up aboard one of its ships.