RFA Wave Knight takes HMS Mersey’s place in the Caribbean

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Wave Knight recently took over Caribbean patrol duties from Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel HMS Mersey which spent six months in the region.

The two ships met in the mid-Atlantic where the captain and senior officers from RFA Wave Knight headed across to Mersey, where Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Richard Hewitt briefed them on the latest challenges they’ll face in the second half of 2016.

Mersey’s focus has largely been drug-busting duties, mixed with visiting British territories in the region and generally flying the flag for the UK in the Americas and Caribbean.

All of which Wave Knight – 18 times bigger than Mersey – will be expected to do, plus wade in to provide humanitarian aid (hurricane season has now begun) should communities be stricken by natural disaster.

Normally found making sure fishermen stick to international quotas around the UK, Mersey became the second of the three-strong Fishery Protection Squadron to break the shackles of the Old World and head to west to the Caribbean, following HMS Severn which did the same last year.

After six months away from the UK, HMS Mersey has visited all but one of the UK Overseas Territories, conducted training and exercises with the region’s coastguards and navies, carried out counter-narcotics patrols across the Caribbean, resulting in a £12m bust, and hosted key defense engagements in Central America.