Suspected drug-smuggling submarine washes ashore off Fort Lauderdale
7 November 2015
A mysterious submarine appeared approximately 150 yards from Fort Lauderdale’s shore in Highlands Beach. Coast Guard officials chose to let it stay adrift. But now, it’s washed ashore.
The Department of Homeland Security is currently investigating the vessel. It appears to be a smaller, makeshift submarine used to smuggle drugs into the country. At least, that’s what United States Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Eric Pare says about it. According to Sun Sentinel, Commander Pare mentions that they see coincidences like this all the time.
However, the fascinating part comes by its location. The commander elaborates as follows.
“…they’re usually in the deep Caribbean, off the coast of South America or the eastern Pacific on the Mexican side; [or] the Pacific coast. It’s extremely rare to see something like this this far north.”
Yet the agency also holds another theory. It claims it could be a lost part of a migrant vessel. After talking with Boca Raton Ocean Rescue, one of the officials distinctly remembered there being such an aforementioned vessel attached to maritime boat they recently encountered. Commander Pare mentioned that he believed this particular piece to be a pontoon.
The mystery submarine was first spotted by Mark Engelhardt. According to NewsMax, he’s from Texas but was in Florida visiting his parents. He mentioned that he usually travels to the area three times a year to enjoy the sun and hang out. However, he’s never come across a discovery like this one. On October 26, 2015, Mark saw the submarine vessel at the aforementioned 150-yard distance and swam to its location. He thought it might have been an abandoned buoy that fell off a passing ship. Once he got close enough to recognize its resemblance, he took pictures with his underwater camera.
The source states that he left and convinced the U.S. Coast Guard and Homeland Security to look into the situation further. After investigating the issue, the Coast Guard didn’t see the vessel as a viable threat. However, they kept an eye on it, and placed on it a light fixture so it would be visible to other maritime vessels. Yet, while alerted, they didn’t intend on taking it away from the area.
Nevertheless, on November 5, 2015, it washed ashore and was found by Mayra and Ben Stern as they walked along the beach. Authorities describe it as a 20-foot long, 3.5-foot diameter craft. Its front is pointed, and it has an orange tail. Actually,Engelhardt saw its tail from the coastline. Also, Military.com mentions that the submarine has two entry/exit hatches as well as a six-cylinder engine, propeller, and battery.
My blog concentrates on submarine history and modern strategy. I plan to sprinkle in commentary on anything of interest. My publisher is the U.S. Naval Institute Press. Information about my books is available at USNI.com. I also have an interest in Bucks County, Pa. history and write a weekly column for the Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer. My new book on the subject is "Bucks County Adventures" available through Amazon.com.