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26th Sep 2023

Search on for suspected cocaine haul dumped by stranded vessel off Wexford coast

Simon Kelly

Wexford drugs search

Two men have been rescued from the vessel and placed under arrest.

Update on Tuesday, September 26, 4.30pm: A second container vessel has now been boarded by the army ranger wing.

The search is on for potentially “millions of euros worth of cocaine” suspected to have been dumped overboard from a trawler left stranded on a sandbank off the Wexford coast, report the Irish Independent.

The incident happened just before midnight on Sunday, September 24, which prompted a rescue operation from the RNLI and the Coast Guard.

Two men were rescued from the stranded vessel, with one of them currently being treated for non-life threatening injuries in a southeast hospital.

Armed gardaí are reportedly present at the hospital. The man is understood not to be an Irish national.

One of the men is believed to be English while the other is eastern European.

In response to a request for a statement from JOE, a Garda spokesperson said: “As this is a live operation, An Garda Síochána has no comment at this time.”

Approaching storm Agnes have authorities in race against time for drugs search

Authorities have not been able to get on board the vessel due to the weather conditions and the suspected drugs shipment has not been found, with the belief being that bales of cocaine were thrown overboard into the sea.

They now face a race against time to retrieve any of the suspected drugs from the waters due to the approaching storm Agnes.

The Irish Mirror report that the value of the suspected cocaine is an estimated €140 million.

Irish Air Corps helicopters and planes have been flying over the area since yesterday in search of the drugs.

The ship left Castletownbere, Co. Cork on Friday night and was set to sail to Devon in England, however it ran ashore on a sandbank in off the coast of Blackwater, Co. Wicklow.

The incident happens just a few weeks after €20 million worth of cocaine was seized at Rosslare port by authorities.

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