Monday, April 4, 2011

Big Bust For the SHERMAN!

So there we were, minding our own business on the 8-12 watch, about an hour before we were supposed to be relieved. We were making our way towards a potential Go-Fast some 60 miles away, making 21 knots through the water. Our helmsman, SN Rebecca Sanchez exclaims, "what the heck is that!?" pointing off the port side of the ship. The object in the water was hardly decipherable without binoculars with it being about 300 yards away from the ship. Excitedly, everyone ran on the watch section ran out on the bridge wing to take a look at the unidentified object in the water. The lookout, SN Kyle Davis, called down to let us know there was a person on top of the object. After maybe 30 seconds, SN Meinte Bruce yells out, "It's an SPSS, it's an SPSS!!!" For those that aren't privy to that term, SPSS is a self propelled semi-submersible. It is what the drug runners are using to smuggle drugs. They are incredibly hard to detect and only a handful have been caught by the Coast Guard. It just so happened that the SHERMAN was at the right place at the right time. We immediately slowed our ship to 5 kts and turned right towards the SPSS. The Operations officer was called to the bridge, alerting him of what we just came upon, and before you knew it, we were launching both small boats to interdict the SPSS. Unfortunately, the smugglers who man the SPSS are told if they are ever caught, they are to scuttle (or sink) the vessel. In a matter of minutes, three more men piled out of the SPSS wearing life jackets, and down sank the SPSS. Our boarding teams collected the four smugglers out of the water, and brought them aboard SHERMAN once we were given permission from District Eleven (they are the ones who grant us authority to carry out all the aspects of boardings down south). Bails of cocaine were popping up to the surface and for the next 40 minutes, our small boats were going around picking up all the objects that came floating to the surface. We did NIC tests that were able to confirm with positive test results that the bails were bails of cocaine. We are able to ascertain that the amount of drugs in the SPSS came to a total of $420-430 million dollars! I believe our Exectutive Officer said it best, "It is better to be lucky than smart!"


  1. You guys are amazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this well written and dangerously exciting encounter! We are so proud of each and every one of you! Keep the news coming! : )

  2. Good job SHERMAN crew! You guys are heroes! SN Sanchez deserves huge kudos and a frickin' Medal. Come home soon!

  3. There are our sons, MauiMom! WELL DONE, SHERMAN COASTIES! from proud Livermore mom~ God speed you safely home~