The successful capture of the first “narco-submarine” to have been intercepted off the Spanish coast after carrying a cargo of cocaine across the Atlantic from Colombia unfortunately turned into an even more complex operation than had been anticipated on Tuesday evening as the vessel sank again onto the sea bed of the port of Aldán at a depth of between 5 and 10 metres.
The crew of three, who had almost completed a 20-day voyage across the Atlantic with 3 tons of cocaine worth over 100 million euros, sank their vessel when they realized that a combination of the Spanish, Portuguese, American and British intelligence services had resulted in customs officers waiting to arrest them on arrival, and for two days a salvage operation to re-float the sub was hampered by rough seas and high winds in the region of Galicia. Finally, though, the 20-metre craft was re-floated and towed to port in Aldán in the province of Pontevedra on Tuesday, and officers prepared to lift it out of the water to continue with a detailed investigation.
But as the submarine was being lifted from the water the harnesses supporting it failed to bear its weight and snapped, and cranes and other lifting gear were sent to the port in order to complete the operation. Finally it was safely on land shortly after midnight, and has now been taken to safe premises for closer examination.