WATCH: Abandoned ‘narco-submarine’ taken ashore for investigation in municipality of A Illa in Galicia

WATCH: Abandoned 'narco-submarine' taken ashore for investigation in municipality of A Illa in Galicia

Image of 'narco-sub' in Galicia. Credit: Twitter@guardiacivil

A ‘narco-submarine’ that was found abandoned in the Ria de Arosa bay in Pontevedra, Galicia was taken ashore, where it was found to be empty.

Wednesday, March 15 at 2:20am

The suspected ‘narco submarine’ that was found abandoned in Ria de Arosa bay in Pontevedra, Galicia, was finally taken ashore this Tuesday, March 14, as reported by The fibreglass vessel arrived at the port of Xufre, in A Illa, around 4:20pm.

Members of the Guardia Civil, National Police, and Customs Surveillance participated in the operation, under the watchful eye of the Government delegate, Jose Miñones. In statements to the media, Miñones confirmed that once the submersible’s hatch was opened and the interior investigated, it was empty. There were not any drugs or occupants he stated.


Tuesday, March 14 at 3:10am

Divers from the Guardia Civil’s Group of Specialists in Subaquatic Activities (GEAS) attempted to access a possible ‘narco-submarine’ that was found abandoned in Ria de Arosa bay in Galicia, yesterday morning, Monday, March 13.

The bow of the vessel was spotted sticking out of the water by the crew of a fishing boat at around 9am. Specifically, it was located one mile off the coast of Vilaxoan in Pontevedra. Due to a strong swell in the sea, which subsequently led to a lack of light, the operation had to be suspended for the day, a source for the force informed

Once the sighting was verified, all means, land, sea and air, were put into operation to deal with the incident and the GEAS team, based in La Coruña, was deployed to the location.

Although the rising tide had hidden the bow and despite the bad state of the sea, the divers carried out the dive, with obvious risk, but without being able to access the hatch of the semi-submersible. Finally, the decision was made to wait until today, Tuesday 14, to make a second attempt.

In the meantime, according to the aforementioned sources, a way of possibly refloating the boat in order to drag it to land will be studied,

Maica Larriba, the Government sub-delegate in Pontevedra, insisted that it will be done ‘as soon as possible’. Speaking with reporters in the port of Vilaxoan, she confirmed that the semi-submersible was sighted in the morning by a sailor, who immediately notified the authorities.

She explained that members of the Tax Agency, Guardia Civil, Maritime Rescue and National Police will be deployed, both at sea and on land, with the aim of refloating the bathyscaphe ‘as soon as possible’. Larriba insisted: “We are using all the means at our disposal, and the objective is to revive it in the shortest possible time”.

There is currently no information available on what may be inside the grounded vessel she indicated, except that it is handmade and about “15 or 16 metres” in length. After verifying that “the sea conditions were not good” (the orange alert is activated in the area), she pointed out that there is no information on possible crew members being on board, or detainees, since the investigation has just been opened.

Some sources have linked the semi-submersible with the two gliders that appeared stranded on the Ribeira coast last February, although the Guardia Civil sources have chosen not to comment on that connection at this point.

Being a ‘narco-submarine, and due to its dimensions, it could transport anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000 kilos of cocaine. The one detected in 2019 – with three crew members – carried three tons, although this latest one is smaller.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at