HMS Mersey visits Colombia on Caribbean deployment

Royal Navy’s River-class offshore patrol boat HMS Mersey was welcomed by the Band of the Colombian Navy as she docked in the port of Cartagena on the latest stop during her Caribbean deployment.

After two weeks of patrols in the western Caribbean on the lookout for drug-runners, the Portsmouth-based warship paid her first visit to South America.

Guests from the Colombian Navy, including sailors from Mersey’s hosts ARC 20 de Julio – a patrol vessel similar to the British craft – plus representatives from UK Trade and Industry were taken on a tour of the ship.

The next day crew sailors from Mersey and ARC 20 de Julio traded places for a look around their respective ships, while ten Britons were treated to a look at miniature semi-submersible craft used by drug smugglers to sneak narcotics along the coastline towards Nicaragua and Honduras – but were intercepted by the Colombian Navy.

With all defence engagement complete, Mersey is now heading for Trinidad and Guyana on the next stage of her patrol, the Royal Navy said.