A total of 84 bales of cannabis resin weighing under three tonnes with a street value of around £14million was recovered from the shore at Camp Bay this morning.
The Royal Gibraltar Police and Customs responded to a distress call from a vessel in the Bay of Gibraltar.
During a search, the Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boat with three passengers and laden with bales suspected to contain cannabis resin was sighted just two nautical miles off the Refinery refuelling buoy.
The 12-metre vessel, which was fitted with three high-powered engines, had been swapped and was drifting due to the rough weather conditions.
Despite various attempts, neither RGP or Customs vessels were able to come alongside the stricken vessel because of the rough seas, a spokesman for the RGP said.
The “Denebola” vessel from Salvamento Maritimo managed to get closer to the RHIB and help its three occupants who were taken to Algeciras for medical attention.
The RGP spokesman added: “The partially sunk RHIB and its cargo continued to drift towards Gibraltar, eventually ending up in the area of Camp Bay.”
Police officers were in the Camp Bay area yesterday morning to monitor the vessel and the cargo.
The RHIB eventually capsized, spilling its cargo of bales into the sea which eventually washed up on shore.
Additional personnel were needed and the 17 RGP and GDP police recruits were also called to assist in cordoning off the area while the bales were recovered at sea.
Police investigations continue.
This story is updated from the previous edition.