Sailors from HMCS Edmonton return home after successful mission


Over 40 sailors returned to CFB Esquimalt from a three-month operation around Central America in which they seized nearly $50 million in cocaine.

Forty-two Canadian Sailors and eight U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement personnel patrolled the waters on HMCS Edmonton as part of Operation CARIBBE, a joint operation with U.S. authorities aimed at stopping illicit trafficking.

The Royal Canadian Navy says that on April 8, a drug smuggling vessel was intercepted and $49.5 million of cocaine was seized and leading to the arrest of seven suspects who are now in U.S. custody.

“We seized 755 kilograms, so about three quarters of a ton of cocaine in actually just one bust,” said Lieutenant-Commander Tyler Smith.

Smith, who is the Commanding Officer of the Canadian warship thanks the collaboration with other partners including Panama, Columbia, and the Mexican Navy.

Since 2006, the Royal Canadian Navy says that they’ve contributed to 120 tons of cocaine being captured.

“Everyone is just smiling, the energy today coming home. It’s incredible,” said Smith.

Hugs, cheers, laughs, and smiles filled the dockyard as loved ones were reunited.

Adam Derbyshire and Taylor Cairns won the lottery for the ceremonial first kiss. After three months of sparse communication, they plan to get some much needed rest.

“This day was made for us. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Sky’s out, the sun’s out, and the wind agreed with us. Honestly I’m going to bed,” said Derbyshire.

“Last night when we got back into Canadian waters and we smelled the trees of British Columbia again, it was like coming home. It was just amazing,” said Operations Officer Ben Coles.

It’s unknown when sailors will leave for their next mission, but right now, families are looking forward to sharing some time together.

“Looking forward to hugging these guys for months,” said Smith as he hugged his two young boys.

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