Tanker RFA Wave Knight has left Dorset to begin a six-month spell fighting drug runners in Caribbean and providing aid should a natural disaster sweep through the region.
The ship sailed from Portland to take over from RFA Argus which returned home to Blighty from her Atlantic Patrol North mission on the cusp of Christmas.
Pictures: LA(Phot) Dave Jenkins, FRPU East
MAKING her way out of Portland Harbour bound for sunnier climes is tanker RFA Wave Knight.
She’ll spend the late winter, spring and early summer of 2013 joining the international fight against the drugs trade in the Caribbean as well as being on hand to help out should any natural disasters strike the region (the hurricane ‘season’ begins on June 1).
Wave Knight takes over from fellow Royal Fleet Auxiliary Argus which carried out the same mission – Atlantic Patrol North – in the second half of 2012.
She heads west after a lengthy overhaul in the hands of Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, who revamped her engine, cabins and mess decks, enhanced her air conditioning system and generally spruced up the 12-year-old tanker following her most recent deployment, a stint in the Gulf and Indian Ocean supporting the large-scale maritime security operation.
For this deployment Wave Knight has loaded specialist stores to help countries in the event of a natural disaster from DfID, the Humanitarian and Disaster Relief and Department for International Development.
“Following a particularly busy regeneration period, Wave Knight’s ship’s company has risen to the challenge of a short notice change of programme and we are now fully-prepared – and looking forward to an extended tour to the Caribbean,” said Capt Ross Ferris RFA, the 31,000-tonne tanker’s Commanding Officer.
“In addition to our humanitarian aid and disaster relief capability we will also be conducting counter-narcotics trafficking patrols, working closely with the US, multi-national and regional forces in the war against illegal drugs.”
He added: “Our flexibility and capability is ably demonstrated by Wave Knight’s action-packed programme. This time last year on operations east of Suez and this year’s operations in the Caribbean, and with a major refit en route, 2013 promises to be no less busy and satisfying.”