Coast Guard Cutter Munro returns to Alameda after major cocaine bust

The Coast Guard Cutter Munro is back in Alameda after a 98-day deployment in the Pacific Ocean, helping to seize tens of thousands of pounds of illegal drugs. 

A video shot on an officers’ GoPro, captured one of those harrowing drug seizures. 

In the video, you hear a man shouting in Spanish, “Stop your boat!” It was one of the officers of the Cutter Munro, who is seen in the video leaping aboard a fast-moving submarine, hundreds of miles off the coast of South America. Inside the sub were five suspected drug runners, transporting more than 800 kilograms of cocaine. 

"He's jumping on a boat going 10 knots,” said Coast Guard Captain Jim Estramonte of the seizure. “These guys are extremely athletic. They have extensive law enforcement training. This is the kind of take down they train for their whole careers."

After a more than three-month counter-drug mission in the Eastern Pacific, the 140-person crew of the Cutter Munro returned to Alameda Monday morning. 

Friends, family members, parents and partners waited on the pier at Coast Guard Island to greet them, waving U.S. flags and holding signs that read, “We Love You” and “Welcome back, Mom.”

"I missed her first steps, her first birthday,” said U.S. Coast Guard Operations Specialist Andrew Short, holding his one year old daughter. “Those are just some of the things you miss when you’re away for so long.

But crew members said the work they do is rewarding. During their more than three month mission, the Cutter Munro and two other Cutters based along the West Coast – intercepted a total 14 drug-running vessels in the Pacific.  They seized 39,000 pounds of cocaine, 933 pounds of marijuana, with a combined estimated street value of close to $570 million.

“We're proud of what we do,” said Capt. Estramonte. “Even though the drug runners do have some success stories, we’re able to do take downs like this at a fast clip than we were in the past.” 

Now that the Cutter Munro is back in Alameda, the crew will get a couple months of down time. They'll do some maintenance on the ship, and then in a couple weeks, the Cutter Waeshe will head out to the eastern Pacific, to continue the counter-drug mission.