The US Coast Guard team deployed to the auxiliary were reportedly conducting a training exercise when the helicopter’s crew spotted a bale of drugs bobbing in the water.
According to the Royal Navy, the boarding team then recovered the object, tested the contents and reported that the bale contained around 50lbs (22kg) of marijuana – worth upwards of £4m to dealers in the UK.
“The Bay-class ship embarked a Dolphin helicopter from the US Coast Guard’s HITRON – Helicopter Interdiction Tactical squadRON – and its counter-narcotics boarding team, the LEDET (Legal Enforcement DETachment) – earlier this month.
The bale was subsequently handed over to a US Coast Guard cutter Isaac Mayo for destruction.”
Captain Angus Bissell, RFA Mounts Bay’s Commanding Officer, said:
“This demonstrated that UK and US forces working in partnership, a great unity of effort, are committed to – and showing success in reducing – the flow of drugs throughout the Wider Caribbean Region.”
RFA Mounts Bay is the UK’s long-term naval presence in the Caribbean, dedicating her summers and autumns to disaster relief operations in the wake of hurricanes which strike with devastating frequency, while the rest of her year is focused on counter drugs patrols.