HMS Iron Duke visits Cayman

The Royal Navy warship HMS Iron Duke is visiting the Cayman Islands again, nearly one year after providing help for Cayman Brac after Hurricane Gustav.

The ship arrived on the island Tuesday and was due to depart sometime today.

The ship’s primary role in the region is to provide reassurance and support to all United Kingdom Overseas Territories, especially during the core hurricane season.

Iron Duke will also be part of an International Task Force designed to hunt narcotics traffickers across the Caribbean.

Whilst on a similar deployment, the ship’s helicopter allowed Governor Stuart Jack and other local officials on the Brac to quickly establish the extent of Hurricane Gustav’s impact. The ship stood by to provide first aid and humanitarian assistance, which ultimately was not required.

Iron Duke’s Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Stacey said, ‘It is a real pleasure to be bringing the ship back to the Cayman Islands, especially after building a great relationship with the Island’s emergency agencies. We are very much looking forward to the visit.

Iron Duke was due to take part in Exercise Viking Thistle II, working with the Cayman Marine Unit and the Jamaican Defence Forces to further strengthen ties with local authorities.

Alongside her primary Disaster Relief role, Iron Duke also has a United States Coast Guard detachment embarked, as much of her time is spent conducting counter narcotics operations and contributing to Maritime Security in the Caribbean.

During last year’s deployment, Iron Duke, working along with the US Coast Guard seized almost a tonne of cocaine.

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