The Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Wave Knight has returned to Portland after 15 months supporting the Navy’s Atlantic Patrol Task (North) in the Caribbean. The security role is part of the UK’s permanent commitment to the UK’s overseas territories in the region, covering disaster relief duties, counter-narcotics operations and defence engagement.
It is now undertaken by RFAs when RN warships are unavailable. During the height of the 2013 hurricane season, she was joined by Portsmouth-based frigate HMS Lancaster, which deployed to the region for a seven-month tour.
During her lengthy patrol, which included 21 port visits, Wave Knight was involved in the seizure of 1,536kg of cocaine and 1,520kg of marijuana, with 29 suspected drug runners detained by US authorities. Although British ships regularly embark US Law Enforcement Personnel when operating in the Caribbean region, Wave Knight was the first to host a United States Coast Guard helicopter tactical squadron.