Police scuba divers found two Colombians and 366 pounds of cocaine stowed away in the air pocket of an oil tanker's rudder shaft, where the men had weathered a five-day voyage, the Customs Service said.
The divers found the men soaked and shivering in the rudder shaft of the Bright Eagle, which was anchored in New York Harbor, special agent Robert Van Etten said Monday."This particular type of ship has an enlarged rudder housing area, and we targeted it for search because of this design," said Van Etten, in charge of the Custom Service's regional office in Newark, N.J.
He said the men entered the capsule, which holds air like an upside-down glass underwater, on a raft before the boat was loaded with oil.
The boat had sailed from Cartagena, Colombia, and was bound for Roseton, a Hudson River port about 60 miles north of New York City.
The cocaine, which had been wrapped in waterproof vinyl and lashed to a ledge in the shaft inside three burlap bags, had an estimated street value of $4.2 million, Van Etten said.