Page last updated at 13:23 GMT, Monday, 14 December 2009

Navy warship returns to home port

HMS Iron Duke has a strong record of successful anti-narcotics operations
HMS Iron Duke, which was launched in 1991, cost 140m to build

A Royal Navy warship which seized a haul of cocaine with an estimated street value of £240m in the North Atlantic, has returned to Portsmouth.

HMS Iron Duke seized more than five-and-a-half tonnes of the drug from a 138ft (42m) fishing boat off the coast of Colombia on 15 September.

The Type 23 frigate intercepted the boat with the US Coast Guard after it was spotted by a navy helicopter crew.

Iron Duke's return marks an end to its six-month deployment to the Caribbean.

Drug busts

Cdr Andrew Stacey said: "This has been another busy and very successful deployment for HMS Iron Duke.

"My team are delighted to be back and are very proud of all we have achieved and are now looking forward to a well-earned Christmas break."

The warship's primary task, while being deployed, was to reassure and assist the people of the UK Overseas Territories during the hurricane season.

HMS Iron Duke, which was launched in 1991 and cost £140m to build, was also on stand-by to take part in anti-narcotics operations.

The last seizure was the third major counter-narcotics success for the vessel off South America in recent months.

In raids in July and August, the frigate was involved in two operations which seized cocaine with an estimated street value totalling £39m.

Prince William served on HMS Iron Duke in July 2008, during which the crew seized more than £40m of cocaine in the Caribbean.

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The Iron Duke has returned from a six-month deployment to the Caribbean



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SEE ALSO
Spanish seize huge cocaine haul
27 Feb 09 |  Europe
Navy intercepts Caribbean drugs
21 Aug 09 |  Hampshire

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Bognor Regis Observer Navy welcomed home for Christmas after drugs bust - 19 hrs ago
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