A Royal Navy destroyer docked in Road Town on Monday morning for a routine visit as part of a Caribbean deployment focused on hurricane support and drug interdiction, according to Governor John Rankin.
While in the territory this week, the crew of HMS Dauntless will be meeting with members of the National Security Council, hosting a disaster exercise, and conducting a search-and-rescue drill at sea, Mr. Rankin said.
“HMS Dauntless is the Royal Navy’s most advanced destroyer,” the governor added. “It has been deployed to the Caribbean to support British overseas territories during hurricane season and to counter drugs trafficking in the region.”
Recently, the ship seized 1.2 tonnes of cocaine worth about $175 million after stopping a speedboat while patrolling “an area in the Caribbean Sea,” according to the governor.
“The ship’s Wildcat helicopter, Royal Marines and the [United States] Coast Guard were all deployed to intercept the suspect boat,” Mr. Rankin said.
He did not provide further details on the seizure or its location.
On Monday, members of the National Security Council and other officials attended a lunch with the ship’s commanding officer and other crewmembers.
Attendees included the governor, Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley, Junior Minister of Tourism Dr. Karl Dawson, the acting police commissioner, the acting attorney general, and the director of disaster management.
The ship was also scheduled to host local agencies on board for a disaster relief exercise designed to help the crew better understand how the VI would handle a disaster and demonstrate the support the ship is able to provide.
A separate exercise was scheduled with the Police Marine Unit and Virgin Islands Search and Rescue, according to the governor.
“We must all remain prepared this hurricane season, and I am grateful that HMS Dauntless has been able to visit to demonstrate the assistance it can provide,” Mr. Rankin said.