In November 2020, Spanish police refloated a homemade drug semi-submersible in the Mediterranean Sea with the help of a towboat. The semi-submersible was discovered by the Spanish Civil Guard during a patrol in the Alboran Sea, located between Spain and Morocco. The vessel was being used to traffic drugs into Spain.
The refloating process was complex and difficult since the semi-submersible was submerged in the seabed and weighed 10 tonnes. The Civil Guard used a towboat to pull the vessel to the surface and then another boat to tow it to a secure location. The boat was then destroyed with explosives in order to prevent it from being used again.
The Spanish Civil Guard has intercepted several drug shipments in the Mediterranean Sea in recent years. In 2020 alone, there have been four other semi-submersibles seized by Spanish authorities. The use of these vessels to traffic drugs is an attempt to evade detection by authorities and is an increasingly common tactic by drug smugglers.