British navy’s largest warship to visit Barbados

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, May 23, 2007 – The HMS OCEAN, the British navy’s largest warship, is to visit Barbados from 25 May to 4 June.

The visit comes part way through the Plymouth-based aircraft carrier’s deployment to the Atlantic and Caribbean, and just two weeks after a stunning drugs haul which netted nearly US$60 million worth of pure cocaine. The seizure of the drugs and the detention of three suspected traffickers, was carried out in partnership with the US Coast Guard. 

“This has been a hugely successful period for us, and working with a whole host of agencies, we have met with some great success.  We are delighted to have brought our ship to the West Indies, and Barbados in particular, and really look forward to an enjoyable and rewarding time alongside,” Commanding Officer, Captain Russ Harding said of the HMS OCEAN’s assignment in the region so far.

The ship is docking in Barbados for essential maintenance as well as shore leave for the crew of 600.

After leaving Barbados HMS OCEAN will remain in the Eastern Caribbean conducting defence diplomacy tasking and providing reassurance and support to UK Overseas Territories, with disaster relief planning and training packages for defence forces in the island chain.  HMS OCEAN will remain within the Caribbean ready at short notice to provide a military response to a natural disaster during the annual June to November Hurricane season.