Canadian warships assist in narcotics seizures

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Summerside and Saskatoon assisted in the seizure of almost 700 kg of cocaine while on patrol in the Caribbean Sea and the eastern Pacific Ocean while participating on Operation CARIBBE.
The interception involving HMCS Summerside took place on March 7, 2016, in international waters off the coast of Nicaragua when the ship located and approached a 12-metre long sailing vessel suspected of smuggling. Members of a United States Coast Guard (USCG) Law Enforcement Detachment (LEDET) embarked on HMCS Summerside questioned the master and subsequently boarded the vessel. During the search, the team discovered and seized 16 bales weighing 324 kg that later tested positive for cocaine.

“This success belongs to the ship’s company as well as the members of the United States Coast Guard we embarked for this operation," said Lieutenant-Commander Paul Smith, Commanding Officer HMCS Summerside. "After patrolling these waters together for more than a month and 5000 nautical miles, it’s satisfying to know we’ve contributed to helping keep these drugs off our streets.”
During the evening of March 19, 2016, the crew of HMCS Saskatoon, its embarked USCG LEDET, and a U.S. Maritime Patrol Aircraft were conducting a routine patrol monitoring targets of interest in international waters off the coast of Central America. One of the vessels being monitored, a "panga" style fishing boat, jettisoned its cargo and fled at high speed. Once on scene, crew members of HMCS Saskatoon and the LEDET found and retrieved 10 bales of cocaine from the water, with a combined weight of approximately 360 kg.
 “This specific evolution exemplified an excellent coordination of assigned assets," said Lieutenant-Commander Todd Bacon, Commanding Officer HMCS Saskatoon. "Now that we have our first seizure under our belt, we will use lessons identified to improve tactics, techniques, and procedures to improve interoperability with our partners and enhance our efficiency for future cases.”
Operation CARIBBE is Canada’s contribution to Operation MARTILLO – the multinational campaign against transnational criminal organizations in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
 “The Royal Canadian Navy continues to provide an important contribution to the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime in South and Central America," said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. "By working with our partner nations to disrupt criminal activity, we not only bring security to the region, but also strengthen our international partnerships, and protect Canadians and Canadian interests.” 
Operation CARIBBE is currently supported by three Royal Canadian Navy ships: HMC Ships Summerside, Edmonton and Saskatoon. This annual operation directly supports the CAF’s mission to defend against threats and security challenges to Canada, North America, and our defence and security partners.