Two smugglers who were shipwrecked trying to land the U.K.'s biggest cocaine haul are facing long jail sentences after the end of a series of trials, Sky News reported Wednesday.
The men were yards from the shore when bad weather sunk their dinghy loaded with a ton-and-a-half of drugs.
It is thought they ran out of gas after rendezvousing with associates on a yacht which had brought $620 million worth of cocaine from the Caribbean.
An air-sea rescue had to be launched to save one of the villains from drowning, while others struggled ashore.
The gang included Michael Daly, 49, a former Scotland Yard detective who escaped and was caught a year later during another cocaine smuggling operation.
Perry Wharrie, 49, joined the gang after he had just served 16 years for shooting dead an off-duty policeman during a bank raid.
A third organizer was Martin Wanden, 47, an international drugs trafficker whose two luxury homes in Cape Town were confiscated after his arrest. His wife Sonya later committed suicide.
Wanden and Wharrie were jailed for 30 years during an earlier trial in Ireland, where the drugs were being landed for distribution in the U.K.
Another gang member Joe Daly - Michael Daly's brother - got 25 years. Gerard Hagan, 26, was jailed for 10 years.
Detective Inspector Grant Johnson, from Scotland Yard's elite Projects Team, said: "These were criminals at the top of their game and were playing for high stakes. They might have got away with it if the weather hadn't wrecked their plans."
The story could be revealed Wednesday after the latest trial and acquittal of John Edney, who was accused of supplying vehicles for the others.