The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Active has tested negative for COVID-19 after a cocaine bust involving suspected smugglers who tested positive for the disease.
The crew is scheduled to return to Port Angeles on Tuesday following a 47-day patrol in the Eastern Pacific, during which they seized about $37 million worth of cocaine from suspected drug smugglers.
Commander James O’Mara of the Active said the crew cancelled a port visit and diverted 500 miles to accomplish their mission, which included detaining three suspected drug smugglers on a vessel off the coast of El Salvador.
One of the detainees was mildly ill, including fever and a sore throat, and was treated onboard. All three detainees were treated as potentially COVID-19 positive, remaining outside on the decks of the cutter, protected under an awning, and wearing surgical masks.
The detainees were transferred to U.S. Department of Justice custody in San Diego on May 20, and tested positive for COVID-19. They were admitted to a local hospital for care, where they remain in custody.
The Active was sanitized and all crew were tested. The crew members were all negative, according to a news release issued May 22.