Salem Radio Network News Friday, March 24, 2023


Stranded ‘narco-submarine’ refloated in northwestern Spain

MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish police refloated a stranded custom-built semi-submersible vessel on Tuesday allegedly used to smuggle cocaine into Europe and found it to be empty, authorities said.

Discovered on the bed of an estuary in the northwestern region of Galicia, it is the second of its kind seized in the area after a vessel carrying over 3 tonnes of Colombian cocaine was abandoned by its pilot in another Galician estuary in 2019.

A police video showed officers operating a tow boat with a crane as the submarine’s pointy bow stuck out, while divers inspected the vessel’s hull and measured it with tape.

The Spanish government’s representative in the province of Pontevedra, Jose Minones, told reporters that no drugs were found inside the submarine following a preliminary inspection.

No related arrests have been made and the whereabouts of its crew members were unknown.

Police were conducting a more thorough search to look for any secret hatches before completely extracting the submarine from the water, a spokesperson told Reuters.

Salvage efforts included injecting pressurised air into the fibreglass vessel, which is estimated to be between 15 metres and 22 metres (49-72 feet) long and whose propeller got stuck in the Ria de Arousa estuary’s muddy seabed.

The bow had been discovered on Monday morning by the crews of fishing boats who had noticed a small oil spill.

(Reporting by David Latona and Silvio Castellanos; Editing by Andrei Khalip, William Maclean)


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