It seems voyagers in Central American waters have a new hazard to navigation to add to the list of poorly lit fishing boats, floating containers and massive rain forest logs: drug smuggling submarines.
According to a recent story in the Washington Post, “The vessels do not fully submerge but skim the sea surface. They move quickly at night, then drift like sleeping whales during the day.” So, these hazardous vessels aren’t even real submarines, which presumably submerge at least 50 or 60 feet below your keel and cease to be a hazard. These drug boats are more in the category of semi-submersibles. They are loaded with cocaine and heroin and navigated north from Columbian rivers along the Pacific coast of Central America until they can rendezvous with fast surface vessels. The low-lying subs are off-loaded and then scuttled. For obvious reasons, however, these semi-subs show no lights and would make for a nasty collision night or day.