The tiny town has also never experienced a frost, a fact which has been gleefully recited to loved ones back in the chilly UK.

Key West is also home to Joint Inter Agency Task Force South (JIATF-S), the multinational effort to combat narcotics smuggling in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific and the primary reason for Mersey’s visit. 

Intelligence and operational briefs to the Command Team, as well as secure communications fittings have been the final check offs for Mersey to be mission ready to support JIATF-S in combating the flow of illicit drugs in her new area of operations. 

With briefings complete, the Ship hosted the Director of JIATF-S, RADM Tomney USN and his Deputy, RDML Pringle USCG for a very British brunch, with Leading Chef “Betsy” Lynch receiving plaudits for his sophisticated fry up.

Senior Officers from JIATF-S and their support agencies were invited onboard for a Reception and Capability Demonstration, giving the Ship’s Company the opportunity to show what Mersey can do.

Despite tropical downpours ship’s tours were eagerly requested and the evening was completed with Ceremonial Sunset on the Cargo Deck.

After a busy visit, Mersey is now headed for Mexico where she will reinforce the Royal Navy’s links with the Mexican Navy and conduct a training exercise at sea.

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