Yesterday the United States Coast Guard released a video that might as well be a movie-scene: a man hops onto an escaping ‘semi-sub’, slams the hatch and seems to succeslfully pry it open when submarine crew appears, all the while shouting the sub stop at once. Note how the Coast guard describes the location as ‘the pacific area’… That’s half the globe, boys! Anyway, as was vividly described in one of the comments, it must be great to have this job.

Even more interesting is the sub itself ofcourse. It’s used to smuggle cocaine, 17000 pounds in this one. Described as a semi-sub, it is barely submerged but obviously more than enough to make it very difficult to find. Wikipedia has a rather long page on these things, and it turns out it is a very common occurance! Some tech is discussed, such as the bent exhaust pipe seen in the video which helps cool the fumes and thereby make infrared tracking more difficult. There must be an underworld of highly skilled (and highly paid I suspect) engineers coming up with this stuff, and making them in series too it seems. Fantastic.

The article has more gems: the narco torpedo.

This particular “torpedo” was planned to be towed by a fishing vessel.[25] If a patrol ship is spotted, the “torpedo” cargo container is released. While still submerged, it was designed to automatically release a buoy concealed as a wooden log so as to be mistaken for marine debris by authorities. This log-buoy was equipped with a location transmitter system. This allowed the original towing vessel to retrieve the torpedo if the vessel and her crew were released by authorities.

Holy shit. There is some serious thought and engineering in these things. Well, I guess at ~$100M per shipment, no expense needs to be spared.