DIY: Cocaine-Smuggling Submarine

November 21st, 2006


Everyone’s entitled to his or her hobby; some people like stamp-collecting, or model trains, or sailing three tons of cocaine from Colombia in a homemade submarine. Huh? The US Coast Guard, operating off the west coast of Costa Rica, intercepted a fifty-foot submarine slowly making its way north filled with millions of dollars worth of the white stuff. Sailors were tipped off to the vessel when look-outs spotted three plastic pipes skimming across the Pacific at 7 mph.

Though simple in design, the submarine functions surprisingly well. Built from wood and fiberglass, the ship uses an air-breathing gasoline engine (hence the intake pipes) to cruise six feet beneath the surface, with a basic pump to control depth. The Coast Guard captured the vessel over a hundred miles into the Pacific and several hundred miles from Colombia, proving its stability in the open ocean even with several tons of cargo.

While we don’t condone the operations of the drug cartels, their creativity can be astounding. Amazingly, this is not the first drug submarine found in the Pacific this year, nor does it come close to matching one found in a Bogota warehouse in 2000. That 100-foot vessel, apparently built from Russian and American technical knowledge, would have been capable of transporting over 200 tons of cocaine and heroin. Just say “no!” building your own submarine.