Coastie in Viral Video Who Jumped on Drug-Running Sub Will Get Official Recognition

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members transfer bales of cocaine from the ship’s 35-foot Long Range Interceptor small boat to the cutter June 6, 2019. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) crew members transfer bales of cocaine from the ship’s 35-foot Long Range Interceptor small boat to the cutter June 6, 2019. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Vanderhaden's name and clarify that he did not mention an award.

That Coast Guardsman who banged on the hatch of a semi-submersible to catch a couple of alleged cartel drug runners in a viral video is now up for an award, the top enlisted Coast Guardsman said Wednesday.

"We will definitely recognize that person," said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Jason Vanderhaden.

Vanderhaden made the remark at a Pentagon news conference with other senior enlisted officers on a range of issues. He did not say what kind of recognition would be given or when. 

The Coastie in the dramatic video has yet to be identified, but he performed a "tremendous feat of bravery" in leaping onto the semi-submersible and rushing forward to bang on the hatch, Vanderhaden said.

The incident took place June 17, 2019, in the Eastern Pacific when two rigid-hulled inflatables from the Coast Guard Cutter Munro, out of Alameda, California, caught up to the semi-submersible.

After demands to stop were ignored, a Coast Guard boarding team jumped onto the moving vessel and arrested the alleged drug runners.

The capture of the semi-submersible was one of 14 interdictions carried out by the Munro and two other cutters off the coasts of Mexico and Central and South America between May and July 2019, according to the Coast Guard.

The interdictions resulted in the confiscation of "39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana, worth a combined estimated total of $569 million," according to the service.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@Military.com.

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