Royal Navy warship HMS Iron Duke is to visit Tortola as part of her mission to reassure and support the UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean during the core hurricane season.

Iron Duke will visit Tortola 22-24 Oct, coming alongside the Cruise Liner berth in Road Town.  On Wed 21 Oct, the day before arrival, her Commanding Officer will fly into the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport using the Ship’s Lynx helicopter and conduct meetings with members of the Island’s Department of Disaster Management (DDM).  The helicopter will then be used to conduct an aerial survey of the island with officials from the DDM and other Government Departments.

During the visit HMS Iron Duke will host an official reception for local dignitaries, whilst the Ship’s rugby, football and basketball teams will be in action against local opposition. The Ship’s Boarding Team will also conduct training exercises with the BVI Police Marine Unit.

During a similar deployment to the Caribbean last year, HMS Iron Duke provided support to the Cayman Islands in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav, and to the Turks and Caicos Islands following Hurricane Ike.  Whilst this year’s hurricane season has so far been unusually quiet, Iron Duke has been standing by since July to provide disaster relief if required.

Alongside this core role, HMS Iron Duke has a US Coast Guard law enforcement detachment embarked, and recently seized five and a half tonnes of cocaine in an operation off the coast of South America, the largest narcotics seizure in the Royal Navy’s history.

Commander Andrew Stacey said: “I am really pleased to be bringing HMS Iron Duke back to the British Virgin Islands and look forward to our exercises with the Department of Disaster Management and the Police Marine Unit. Many of my Ship’s Company have fond memories of the Ship’s visit last year and are looking forward to our return.”