A submarine with two dead bodies and nearly three tons of cocaine aboard was seized in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Colombia, the country’s navy announced Sunday. Two survivors “in poor health” were also found on the vessel and given first aid.
“These people’s poor health state is presumably due to the inhalation of toxic fumes caused by fuel problems inside the boat,” Captain Cristian Andres Guzman Echeverry said in a video released by the navy.
The roughly 50-foot-long submarine was carrying almost 5,800 pounds of cocaine, worth more than $87 million, officials said. The navy said the vessel had been bound for countries in Central America, and that the seizure had kept more than 6 million doses of cocaine off the illegal market.
The rescued men, the two victims and the seized drugs were brought to Tumaco, “where they were presented to the Technical Investigation Corps of the Attorney General’s Office,” the statement said.
Officials posted images of the submarine’s seizure, showing officers hauling packages off the ship. One video appeared to show officers carrying a victim on a stretcher on a pier toward an ambulance.
“The Colombia Navy will continue to use all its capabilities to stop the scourge of narcotrafficking,” Echeverry said.
So-called “narco subs” are commonly used by traffickers in the region to transport drugs. Last year, the Colombian navy seized a semi-submersible vessel carrying 4 tons of cocaine worth about $150 million.
The submarines sometimes make it all the way to North America. In, a submarine carrying 12,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $165 million was seized by the U.S. Coast Guard.