Once again, HMS Dragon has demonstrated the strength, capability and global reach of our Royal Navy. I am incredibly proud of her crew as they confirm the UK’s crucial role in tackling the illegal and destructive global drugs trade.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson

The bust came hot on the heels of a week-long visit to Goa for annual exercises with the Indian Navy and, before that, the biggest war games in Oman since 2001, plus the first chance for a British warship to work with F-35 Lightning stealth fighters on operations, courtesy of the USS Essex. 

Lt Bennett said: “The dhow looked suspicious so we sent the boarding teams in the sea boats to talk to the crew. Their answers raised our suspicions further, and so we commenced the boarding. Following a search by our trained teams we were able to locate and recover these narcotics, stopping their onward likely travel into Europe and the United Kingdom, as well as disrupting the funding of illicit activity.”

Leading Seamen Adam Parker, one of the ship’s sea boat crew, was responsible for ferrying the boarding team – a mixture of Royal Marines Commandos to provide protection and Royal Navy sailors to carry out the search – across to the dhow. They later transported the haul of drugs, which were later destroyed, back to HMS Dragon.

“Having started the day preparing for our next port visit, we very quickly had to refocus and support the boarding operations in what became a long, but very rewarding day,” he said.

“Conducting sea boat operations over 12 hours places a large demand on our team but from the training received and experience gained whilst deployed we were able to achieve this successfully.”

Commander Michael Carter Quinn, the Commanding Officer of HMS Dragon, said: “To achieve this seizure, so swiftly after the last, and alongside having been part of a complex warfighting exercise only a few days ago, is demonstration of the hard work and professionalism of all the Dragons on board.

“It serves to highlight the breadth of skills available on board HMS Dragon and the rich variety of tasks being delivered by Royal Naval Ships deployed across the globe.”

HMS Dragon will be at sea over the Christmas period as she continues to patrol some of the 2.5m square miles of water covered by the international Combined Task Force 150, which is dedicated to tackling terrorist activity on the high seas.