A Coast Guard Cutter Thetis boat crew works to free an entangled sea turtle from a jettison field during a 68-day Eastern Pacific counter drug patrol in 2017. They saw significant chaffing from the lines on his neck and flippers.
Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
The U.S. Coast Guard is tasked with defending and protecting American interests, but the sailors apparently are there to protect wildlife too.
The crew of the cutter Thetis found a sea turtle that had become trapped by floating bales of cocaine in the eastern Pacific, NBC News reported.
Commander Jose Diaz said the crew of a military plane saw something floating in the sea and alerted his crew.
When the cutter arrived, the sailors found 26 rectangular packages of what they said was cocaine, tied together. They believe it was tossed from what is called a go-fast vessel after the smugglers were in the sites of the authorities, NBC News reported.
The turtle had become tangled in the lines that were wrapped around the animal’s neck and fins.
Diaz said the turtle could have been among the drugs for two days. The turtle was freed and the Coast Guard seized the more than 800 kilos of cocaine, NBC News reported.