Royal Navy Warship HMS Argyll moored off George Town on Monday for a four-day visit.
The ship, a Type 23 frigate, is in the Caribbean to provide assistance, if necessary, during hurricane season and to carry out anti-drug smuggling operations.
HMS Argyll’s commanding officer, Commander Paul Hammond, said in a press release issued by the Cayman Islands Government Information Service, “I am delighted to bring HMS Argyll to the Cayman Islands to reassure with our presence and to continue our strong relationship with local authorities.”
He added, “I look forward to working closely with the governor and the government to ensure a successful and productive visit.”
In August, the ship was involved in the seizure of nearly 600 kilos of cocaine, with a street value of CI$27.6 million, following a 12-hour chase across the Caribbean. The ship, carrying out counter-narcotic operations in the region, was deployed to interpret a suspicious-looking vessel that had been spotted by a maritime patrol aircraft. The ship launched her onboard Lynx helicopter and then sent its crew members on sea boats to investigate.
After finding bales of cocaine on board the boat, they detained five crew members and seized the drugs. The five were later handed over to U.S. authorities.
According to the GIS release, HMS Argyll, the longest-serving Type 23 frigate in the Royal Navy, is fitted with a new Artisan radar and “represents the versatility and capability of a modern warship.”
The 436-foot-long ship, which has a displacement of 4,900 tonnes, carries 185 personnel on board.
The ship was supposed to arrive in Cayman on Sunday, but was delayed.
Members of the crew are due to play a rugby match at 5 p.m. on Wednesday against RFC President’s XV at the Rugby Club in South Sound.
HMS Argyll is scheduled to depart from Cayman early Thursday.
While in Grand Cayman, HMS Argyll will host a hurricane and disaster relief seminar. Part of the remit of the vessel is to provide, if required, humanitarian aid and disaster relief support to overseas territories and other islands in the event of a hurricane or other disaster.
Commander Hammond was scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Governor Helen Kilpatrick and other government dignitaries on Monday, and the governor is due to host the captain and crew for a farewell reception on Tuesday.