Daily Chronology of Coast Guard History
1928-Clarence Samuels assumed command of Coast Guard Patrol Boat AB-15 on 18 July 1928, thereby becoming the second African-American to command a Coast Guard vessel, the first being Revenue Captain Michael Healy.
2015-CGC Stratton seized a self-propelled semi-submersible vessel carrying more than 16,000 pounds of cocaine in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Stratton's crew apprehended four suspected smugglers and seized 275 bales of cocaine worth more than $181 million wholesale from the self-propelled semi-submersible. A U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft detected the 40-foot semi-submersible vessel more than 200-miles south of Mexico. After removing 12,000 pounds of the narcotics aboard, Stratton attempted to tow the vessel to shore as evidence; however, the semi-submersible began taking on water and sank. Approximately 4,000 pounds of cocaine left in the SPSS vessel to stabilize it during the towing evolution sank in over 13,000-feet of water and is unrecoverable. Stratton interdicted or disrupted 15 different drug smuggling attempts since April 2015 including another self-propelled semi-submersible vessel carrying 5,460 pounds of cocaine 16 June. Stratton has seized more than 33,000 pounds of cocaine since May 2015. The 18 July semi-submersible seizure is the largest recorded semi-submersible interdiction in Coast Guard history. Stratton’s semi-submersible busts are also the first and second by a Legend Class Cutter. This is the first interdiction of two semi-submersibles in a single patrol at sea where Coast Guardsmen recovered both the narcotics and the vessels. CGC Mohawk from Key West, Florida, interdicted two semisubmersibles in the Caribbean in 2011; however, both vessels sank during the course of the interdiction. There have been 25 known semi-submersible interdictions in the Eastern Pacific Ocean since November 2006 when the first documented interdiction occurred. A semi-submersible is a vessel constructed for illicit trafficking that is mostly submerged with just a cockpit and exhaust pipe visible above water. These vessels are extremely difficult to detect and interdict because of their low-profile and ability to scuttle. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine also assisted by monitoring the semi-submersible using a maritime patrol aircraft during the course of the interdiction 18 July.