Royal Navy’s HMS Trent continues its campaign against drug trafficking, with its latest interception totalling more than half a billion pounds worth of narcotics in the Caribbean. 

HMS Trent, a River-class offshore patrol vessel of the UK Royal Navy, was redeployed to the Caribbean to combat drug smuggling activities in December 2023, taking over from HMS Dauntless. This move came as part of a rotation, allowing other River-class ships to undergo maintenance. 

In a nighttime pursuit, the Royal Navy patrol ship thwarted an attempt to smuggle £204m worth of cocaine into Britain, adding to its tally of drug seizures in the Caribbean. Acting on intelligence provided by a United States maritime patrol aircraft, HMS Trent utilised its radars to track down a high-speed smuggling vessel, triggering a chase through the dark waters of the Caribbean Sea.

The Portsmouth-based vessel, manned by a crew of sailors, Royal Marines, and US Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team personnel, closed in on the go-fast boat, prompting its crew to jettison their illegal cargo to evade capture. Despite the smugglers’ attempts to flee at speeds approaching 50mph, HMS Trent‘s persistence paid off, with the recovery operation yielding 2,548kg of cocaine.

“The combined capabilities of the ship, the embarked US Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment and our 47 Commando coxswains have proven once again the utility of our ship in countering narcotics smuggling.”, remarked Commander Tim Langford, HMS Trent’s Commanding Officer. “Working seamlessly to complete another covert take down, Trent and her crew continue to achieve unparalleled success in intercepting traffickers with over half a billion pounds worth of narcotics now disrupted.”

Since deploying to the Caribbean in December, HMS Trent has been at the forefront of multinational efforts to combat drug smuggling, seizing 6,390kg of drugs valued at £511m on the streets of Britain. Collaborating closely with international partners, including the US Coast Guard, HMS Trent exemplifies the effectiveness of maritime operations in intercepting traffickers and safeguarding global waters from illicit activities.

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The Royal Navy’s proactive stance against drug smuggling extends globally, with successes including the seizure of narcotics worth millions by HMS Lancaster in the Arabian Sea.