News story

RFA ship targets drug suppliers

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) ship Wave Knight has helped to seize a go-fast craft suspected of carrying narcotics in the central Caribbean.

As part of a multi-agency operation involving Dutch and US vessels, naval support ship RFA Wave Knight helped to successfully detect and stop a craft which had attracted suspicion.

The boat evaded the US Coast Guard and was spotted dropping suspect packages over the side before a raiding craft from HNLMS Holland managed to stop it.

The whole operation took place at night and in rough seas.

US law enforcement detachments, travelling with Wave Knight and Holland, then boarded the go-fast craft and carried out a thorough search to ensure the preservation of evidence.

The crew were detained on board Wave Knight and handed over to shore authorities in Puerto Rico, along with the go-fast.

The suspected smugglers' go-fast boat
The suspected smugglers' go-fast boat [Picture: Stephen R Smith, via MOD]

Captain Chris Clarke, Commanding Officer of RFA Wave Knight, said:

Once again the UK has played its part in a multi-agency operation which has resulted in another successful take-down of a suspected drugs runner.

These are particularly difficult craft to detect, stop and apprehend. In conjunction with our US and Dutch colleagues, we have again prevented a small part of this insidious activity reaching its destination.

Whilst we will never know how much contraband was jettisoned, what matters is that it will never be delivered.

As ever, the ship’s company and supporting embarked forces can, rightly, feel very proud of their efforts.

RFA Wave Knight

RFA Wave Knight is currently deployed to the Caribbean in support of Atlantic Patrol Task (North) along with Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster.

This is part of the UK’s year-round commitment to the region in support of British Overseas Territories, disaster relief and counter-narcotics operations.

RFA Wave Knight is a 31,500-tonne fleet tanker with the ability to refuel and resupply other naval vessels at sea and operate helicopters from its large aviation facility. It is armed with Phalanx and Vulcan self-defence weapons and decoys.